Understandably there is a lot of commentary in the media at the moment about people’s behaviour. Everyone is worried, everyone is anxious; some of the commentary we read is helpful, some of it reflects people giving into their anxiety and fear and lashing out at others. In this context, I offer you one of the prayers we have shared in Daily Pastoral recently. It begins with a story:
An old lady once received a letter in the mailbox. It read: “Tonight I will dine with you. Love, Jesus”.
Shocked and concerned for she was poor, she hurried to the mini market just in time to buy some bread, for this was all she could afford. On her way back she noticed a beggar on the side of the road, in the pouring rain, stretching out his shaking arm. “Please” was all he said.
She stopped and contemplated how she could ignore what she saw and then cut some of the bread and handed it to him. When he ate it she gave him some more and then some more... She had nothing left to give and so she turned to walk away but not before she saw his hand; purple from the cold and drenched. Disturbed she thought, “He won’t survive this cold winter’s night”. So, she gave him her coat and then left hurriedly to get home before her guest arrived. She waited and waited knowing she had nothing to feed Jesus. Her eyes got heavy from the emotion of her encounter on the way home and so she slept.
The next morning, wondering if this was all but a dream, she realised that Jesus never came. Perplexed she went to the letter box as was her routine, only to find another note which read: “Thank you for the bread. Thank you for the coat. Love, Jesus”.
This morning let us pray that we approach our lives with the same attitude as the lady in the story - giving unselfishly and expecting nothing in return.
St Marcellin Champagnat, Pray for us.
Mary, Our Good Mother, Pray for us.
And let us always remember, To pray for one another.