In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus shares some ways we can love our neighbor, including visiting the sick and imprisoned. John Wesley considered these good deeds “works of mercy.”
When offered as expressions of love for God and for our neighbor, our visits can be a means of receiving God’s unmerited favor as well as sharing it. Alternately, when we fail to selflessly share God’s love with others, we deprive not only the world, but ourselves of God’s grace.
Opportunities to put Jesus’ teachings into practice abound. Just a visit or call can bring a gentle reminder of Christ’s presence to those suffering physically or emotionally.
Simply listening can reflect God’s love for them. Offering spiritual and emotional support will give them a deeper understanding of God’s loving kindness.
Is Christ calling you to bring hope into the life of someone who may be hurting or discouraged this week?
Will you join me in praying the prayer of Saint Francis?
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek 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.
©2012 Pamela D. Williams