Mercy Mondays

Becoming a Vessel of God's Mercy

By Sr. Kate O’Leary | Tuesday, May 10, 2016

‘Come, you who 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 drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ MT (25:34-40)

The first line in the rule of St. Francis of Assisi to his brothers is to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… This is a tall order for me as a Franciscan of The Eucharist of Chicago. Our life is one of penance as we live and work with the poor on the West Side, constantly striving to imitate Christ. Each day I am reminded of Mt 25 – whatever you do for the least little one, you do for me. Each day I am challenged to see Christ in the poor.  How easily I forget that I am bearing Christ to those in need. When I give someone food, clothing, a smile, when I pray for the poor, counsel them or even listen to them, I am this vessel of mercy … the Father’s Mercy.

It seems at times I can become self-centered and concerned only about my needs. This often leaves my heart unsettled and empty. It is when I recognize the need to go out of myself, to give to those in need, to extend a hand to those suffering either physically or spiritually, that my heart is filled with joy and peace. It is only first when my heart is rooted in scripture, rooted in the Gospel as St. Francis calls us to, that I am then able to give material and spiritual needs to the poor.

Mercy Challenge

Read and Meditate/pray with Mt 25:31-46. Then go and put it into action. (Come visit The Mission of Our Lady of the Angels and see how you can get involved in taking care of the poor.)