Saints for the day: Berard & Companions (died January 16, 1220)
“Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will!” (Psalm 40)
Be sure to follow the “link” above to read about today’s first Franciscan Martyrs which fits in well to our task of knowing what is entailed when we set out to follow Christ. When we take seriously that highlighted quote, above, we are really making a promise to follow the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul. It reminds me of the question the disciples asked Jesus, “Master! When did we see you hungry and feed you; or naked and clothe you …?” (Matthew 25:37) It’s yet one more reminder that our task as disciples of Jesus is to be sensitive to those around us who are in any kind of need. It’s interesting to note that we won’t find many scriptural references detailing how we should conduct huge, stadium revivals but you will find many scriptural quotes that almost always focus on seeing the needs of an individual and doing the simplest of tasks to lift that person up from the pain they are experiencing. I’m always reminded of the simplicity of this kind of encounter with the many homeless people who come into our church to stay out of the rain and inclement weather. I tell them that they are welcome to come in out of the cold but I don’t let them stretch out to sleep on the pews. I know some of them by name and I try to remind myself, that, “there, but for the grace of God could be ME!” One of the “regulars” thanked me for not being rough with him when I asked him to sit up and pretend like he was praying. You’ll be surprised to see how easy is to be nice to someone who, most of the time, isn’t even treated as a human being. Not many of us will be asked to put our lives at risk like today’s Franciscan Martyrs but we are all asked to at least try to see the Christ likeness in those around us who are most in need of a kind word of help. Amen!