Charity for All
I will perform a special act of charity
by Father Edward McIlmail, LC | Source: Catholic.net
As Christmas draws near, I desire to learn more deeply your example of humility
by coming among us as an infant. I pray that this season rekindles my sense of hope in your
Jesus, grant me the grace to grow in the virtue I
need to cultivate most.
1. Within Reach:
Charity demands justice, at the very
least. According to the Compendium of the Catechism (no. 381), justice consists in the firm and
constant will to give to others their due. In this passage Saint John the Baptist points out two
levels of justice toward neighbor. In the first level, he tells the tax collectors and soldiers to
be content with the money that comes their way rightfully. The second level goes further. It demands
that we share our surplus with those in genuine need. That surplus could be all around us: in our
closet, our pantry, our checkbook. What could I share with the poor? A saintly maxim says: Live
simply, so that others can simply live.
2. Open to All:
People of all sorts
approach John the Baptist for advice. He responds to them all. They hunger for meaning. They want to
repent. Those same people are with us today. Maybe they are fallen-away Catholics, or Evangelicals,
or Jews, or Muslims, or even atheists. They too seek meaning in their lives. All of them, whether or
not they realize it, seek Christ, who "fully reveals man to man himself" (Gaudium et Spes, 22).
Have I been willing to share that "secret" with others? Are there areas of my life where I shy
away from talking about religion? The office? The mall? The dinner table? John the Baptist wouldn’t
exclude anyone. Would I?
By calling for charity and justice
John wants to prepare the people for the arrival of the Messiah. Without hearts open to others, they
would not be able to accept the robust message of Christ. Charity prepares the heart for the seed of
the Gospel. If ever my relationship with Christ grows cold, I should ask, “How is my charity?
The key to finding myself demands that I look first to serve God and others.
Lord, for you, charity is the highest value. You even spoke
about it the
night before your death. "I give you a new
commandment: Love one another as I have loved you,
so you also should love one another" (John 13:34).
Christmas should enkindle charity in my
heart. Let me see
you in every person I meet today.
perform a special act of charity today for someone at home, work or
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