How does one embody the Gospel in today’s immersion of worry, anxiety and fear? There have been so many occasions to extend the heart of God recently, especially among families in distress. One mother recently conveyed to me that she had not enough money to buy milk for her children. How can this be right here in progressive St. Cloud? The food shelf stretches only so far. I loved her children. I put the message out to the people. They responded with gift cards for groceries.
What about the families that have illness and hospitalization right now, with limited insurance and no employment. We followers of Jesus today see the suffering Christ and we witness suffering in the world, in our families, in our parishes! What can we do? We extend a listening ear, support by presence and care. Jesus teaches us how to respond. St. Francis lived his response to others in need. We know that the wounds created by today’s problems are softened by our compassion.
Recently a young mother entered eternity after years of cancer treatments and suffering. How tenderly the children spoke of their mother. Many people listened to their stories about her. It brought comfort to this grieving family. We honored their mother by honoring the words of her children. I saw the pain lift somewhat as we cared about their story.
How often the prayer of St. Francis teaches us how to respond to others in the here and now.
“Oh, Divine Master, grant that I may seek,
Not so much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”