“Serving the Needy”
“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much.” Jesus (Luke 12:48)
We live in the richest nation on earth. We throw away 25% of the food that we buy, while people in other parts of the world dig in trash heaps for scraps and die of malnutrition. We have been abundantly blessed by God with the expectation that we help those who have been entrusted with less. How do we measure up in the sharing department?
“When giving alms to the poor, do you look at them in the eyes?” Pope Francis
There was a time when I thought it was enough that I kept dollar bills in my pocket when I walked the streets of downtown Baltimore on my way to a nice restaurant or sporting event. I would place the dollars in the cups of the beggars I passed. The words of Pope Francis made me realize that there are human beings behind those cups. Looking into the eyes of the poor is a powerful thing.
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” Mother Teresa
Sometimes we forget that just putting money in the poor box does not address the needs of all the poor. What about the elderly, the mentally ill, the outcasts, the unpopular, the marginalized in our midst? These people exist in every family, neighborhood, workplace, and classroom. How can we serve them? Can we take time in our busy lives for a phone call, a visit, a card, a smile?
“Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.” Albert Einstein
All the other quotes in this reflection are from people known for their holiness. This last quote is from someone known for his genius. Albert Einstein’s life was one of countless achievements and numerous accolades. Yet, he states that service to others is what made his life worth living. Maybe the genius was on to something.