Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Am I my sister's keeper?

When a baby is born, her parents cannot lay her on the ground and walk away, expecting her to live on her own, grow, and become a self sufficient independent person. Unless they give her food, shelter, and most importantly, love, she will die. Let us not fool ourselves; the dependency of human beings on each other is a necessity. Even the richest, strongest, smartest, or holiest person in the world needs others to provide food, clothes, and most importantly, genuine love. More so, a sick, hurt, or dying person needs his fellow human beings the most.  While our most clever artificial robots can manage many of these tasks, they will always remain incapable of loving us.  

We need to accept with humility others' acts of love towards us. At times it may be difficult, hard, and embarrassing, nevertheless we must let others serve us because this is the nature of our humanity. When we let our pride stand in the way of such acts of love, we are placing ourselves above our brothers and sisters and not seeing ourselves as we truly are, persons dependent on others. Plus, when it becomes our turn to serve others, we must not think too highly of ourselves and of our acts, placing those whom we serve beneath us. It is indeed our obligation to give back for what was given to us from the moment we were born until the moment we leave this life. Remember Christ's words to us: "When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'   " [Luke 17:10]

Human being are in the image of God and therefore cannot be happy unless they are loved and they love.  Therefore, let every act of service that we do towards the others be an act of love towards them. With regards to feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting the prisoner, Christ tells us: "Truly, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me, .... What you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me." [Matthew 25:40,45]

To put love in every act that we do and to perform acts of love on those who are daily placed in our path can be challenging, overwhelming, and sometimes impossible. But we are encouraged with Christ's words: "What is impossible for human beings is possible for God." [Luke 18:27] On our own we can accomplish nothing of significance toward anyone; we become like a branch detached from the vine which has no life within it. The wind may move its leaves, giving the impression that it is living on its own, but we know better. We have within us the source of every grace, Christ Jesus, who empowers us to place love in every act that we do and to accept acts of love from others, just as he did as a child from his mom and dad (Luke 2), his disciples who were sent before him (Luke 9:2, 10:2), the women who provided for him (Luke 8:3), and Simon the Cyrenian who helped him with his holy cross (Luke 23:26). 

We cannot even imagine the acts of love showered on us from God that allow our bodies to function and our souls to grow closer to Him. My dear friends let us receive love and give love and give thanks to God who empowers us to do so, through Christ's spirit within us. St. Paul assures us: "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me." [Philippians 4:13]

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