Encountering Christ in everyone we meet

Throughout his public ministry Jesus taught that we must love our neighbors as ourselves and care for the poor and marginalized.  In the Gospel of Luke Jesus tells us of a rich man who lived sumptuously while ignoring a poor man, called Lazarus, who was starving to death at his doorstep. Lazarus died and went to heaven; the rich man died as well and was consigned to the netherworld where he was tormented by flames and suffered greatly from thirst. When the rich man pleaded for Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool his thirst he was told “My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.”

Jesus constantly and unequivocally commands us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the poor, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, and visit those who are in prison.The importance that Jesus places on caring for the poor and marginalized can be measured by the fact that every tenth line in the New Testament is a direct challenge to care for the poor. It should be abundantly clear that Jesus considers acts of mercy and compassion for the poor as important, perhaps more so, than any creed, dogma, or doctrine.

He tells us that when the Son of Man comes he will judge us by whether we served the least of his brothers and sisters; He calls us to love one another, to see Christ in each other, to encounter Christ in everyone we meet. Each of us is the body of Christ—so remember whenever you encounter:

someone who is hungry and you give them food,
someone who is thirsty, and you give them drink,
a stranger and you welcome them,
someone who is naked and you clothe them,
someone who is sick and you care for them,
someone who is in prison and you visit them

that you are doing it to one of the least and to Christ himself.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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