Living out the Corporal Works of Mercy

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Here at UD, so many of us have been truly blessed by God in so many ways. The question then be- comes: how do we take our countless gifts and give them back to God with true humility?

The answer, thankfully, does not need countless hours of mental prayer or rigorous study to find. It is presented to us quite simply through Jesus’s example in His ministry. Throughout the Gospel, Christ is repeatedly portrayed living in communion, not with the rich and powerful, but with the suffering, the sinners and the helpless. It is these communities that truly receive God’s love with humility and sincere gratefulness.

Therefore, I believe that it is necessary when placed in such a position of physical, emotional and spiritual health as this UD community is, that we take our gifts and distribute them among the less fortunate. During my time trying to reach out to people who are economically well-off, I almost always simply get a passing smile, and if I do get a prayer intention, it is usually something like “the world” or “peace.” It seems that when people are financially independent and healthy, they forget the need to lean on God. But when reaching out to the homeless, their joy and faithfulness is true testament to how God is present in the lowly and forgotten.

I want to stress how important it is that we take the gifts we have been given and actually use them instead of burying them in a hole. It would be a crime to not sacrifice “our” time and spread the love to those freezing on the streets, especially in Dallas, where there is so much homelessness and drug use.

Christ’s Love is a raging fire that keeps the seemingly hopeless mission that is homeless ministry alive. The beauty of true homeless ministry is that it is not merely an attempt to better the physical situations of those we are encountering. Of course we try to bring food and clothes to bring them some comfort, but that is essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things. The true purpose of homeless ministry is to fill the soul of those we encounter with the hope and love that comes with an acknowledgment of dependency on Christ.

Yet one ought not to have the predisposition that they are superior to the homeless people they are serving. We are there simply to bring Christ to others so that He can do the real work; it is only through interactions with Christ that true joy may touch human beings.

There have been many nights coming back from a homeless mission, where I am saddened by the thought that the very people I was just sharing truly intimate conversations with are now probably under the influence of drugs and sleeping on a stale piece of cardboard. This sadness is a crucial reminder that our life on Earth is simply a path- way by which we are able to reach our true home. God is so good to us that even in our moments of sorrow, He takes those moments to continually remind us that He is awaiting us with open arms.

I did my first homeless mission in August of freshman year when my friend Sara Mora, class of 2023, asked me the day before if I would be interested in going. I did not think much of it initially. The first mission consisted of Mora, myself, and 5 other people. But since that first mission, I know that God has continually been asking me to not only keep doing homeless missions, but to keep growing this community in His name. So then I was overjoyed when last month we had our largest homeless mission of the year with over 50 missionaries, it is clear that God is alive in the community.

If you are interested in doing mission work here at UD, the final event for the Mission Youth club for this semester is Dec. 2 from 2 – 5 p.m. There will come a day in which we will all have to stand before the king, let us hope he says to us: ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’(Matthew 25:34-36)

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