June 25, 2023

The examples are stark in the gospel today:
about not preferring mother and father to Jesus; about how, in our care for others, we care for Jesus, and how, in our neglect of others, we neglect him.
We need to go beyond the practical example to finding out what is central in our lives and how we see God as central.
When God is central, our love can be in the smallest of services to people, like ‘the cup of cold water’.

Jesus is not central outside our humanity, and our human relationships. In the real needs of ordinary people we meet his needs. We give the ‘cup of cold water’ to the person who needs it, not just to Jesus. It’s like many stories in the gospel of Jesus helping those in real need. This is the central point of faith.

We help in simple ways. This is what Pope Francis refers to in his encouragement of simple love,
‘like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love’ (September 2015).

Recall a time when someone helped you in a small way. Be grateful.
Offer yourself to do the same when you can.
Make me, O Lord, a channel of your peace and love
when I see the needs of others.

Donal Neary SJ