Saturday, December 22, 2018

Works of Mercy

In A.D. 29, with five loaves Christ’s disciples were reminded of the feeding of five-thousand; seven loaves, the four-thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers they took up (Mt 16:9-10; Mk 8:1-21).  This shows that nothing is impossible with God.  Gifts of feeding though could take many forms.  A Russian businessman and politician Roman Abramovich (b. 1966) said, “But charity is a very complicated thing.  It’s important to find an area where you can really help and you can feel the results.  Charity is not like feeding pigeons in the square.  It is a process that requires professional management.”  Unlike Jesus’ miracles the task of feeding thousands is great.  In our churches there will have to be much planning and organization to accomplish such feats.

Chores of People

People have to do a variety of chores to live effectively.  Gisele Bündchen (b. 1980), a Brazilian fashion model, and actress wrote, “I’m not a potato sack; I’ve never sat on my couch.  If I’m home, I’m cleaning, feeding my dogs, doing stuff.  Life is too precious to waste time.”  But some feel they have to keep busy to accomplish their tasks.  There are corporations promoting themselves to consumers as accomplishing tasks effectively.  A political activist and attorney Ralph Nader (b. 1934) wrote, “For almost seventy years the life insurance industry has been a smug sacred cow feeding the public a steady line of sacred bull.”  Nader was rather skeptical about the promises these companies made to their clients.  They might be selling benefits that aren’t exactly true.

It could all be about the environment where we work.  Some say we must select the right standards to meet our growing demands of consumption.  An author Napoleon Hill (18831970) said, “We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our mind is extracted.”  In having great expectations these may lead to wise choices.  Alternatively when bad ones are made they are counterproductive.

Giving & Achieving

Yet, they are those who believe what people put into their work they get back in return.  It’s therefore necessary to plant the right seeds in the ground.  Thomas Szasz (19202012), an academic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst wrote, “The proverb warns that ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you from feeding yourself.’”  Concerned with oneself is necessary to think about feeding others, especially the poor and destitute.

A social activist and Catholic convert Dorothy Day (18971980) said, “Together with the Works of Mercy, feeding, clothing and sheltering our brothers, we must indoctrinate.”  Works of mercy must be the means to an end, in letting people know that Christ is the answer.  By living to do the work of Jesus Christ we’ll be greatly blessed.  

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