Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One of those moments

As our pastor, Father Tim, gave another of his rousing homilies this morning what he was saying really struck with my heart. As Catholics we believe that it is a blessing, a beautiful thing when we share in the suffering of Christ. The bible tells us to rejoice! So we go through our lives trying to offer up whatever pain, sorrow, or agony we receive to God, or even for others.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Today he was talking about how that sometimes we are scared to give. That we often seem scared to give because we might have to do without. That we might have to share in the suffering of that individual a little by sacrificing some of our own comfort. It's true. We often talk about how we could give if we had more money, but we can't give now because we just don't have it. Yet, we have internet access. We have air conditioning and heat. We have a home, often bigger than we truly need. We have all the clothes we could want, a bed for each of us, and indoor plumbing. All of these we talk about how we can't live without them, and sometimes this world seems to make us think we can't survive without a cell phone, a GPS, and high speed cable!

Father has reminded us many times of a very simple fact, one that reflects the truth of the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25. Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Jesus Christ! When you give up something for one of your poor brothers and sisters, you are sharing in their suffering. When you give up some of your food that they can eat, you share in their hunger. When you turn your AC off for a month and use that extra money you save to help someone else.. the suffering of living without that comfort is sharing in theirs! You alleviate some of their pain, their hunger, their discomfort, by living it for them...  Christ is present in them.. and you are sharing in their suffering.. you are sharing in Christ's suffering THROUGH them.

That's an astounding thought isn't it? How many times do we turn down an offer because we want more soda, or to eat out with our families, or even to have a better car? Having nice things is not a sin in and of itself, and God wants to give us comfort.. he wants us to receive everything he has to offer... but not at the expense of others.

His servant and yours;