When you enter this light of Jesus /
Elsy Mathew, Bangalore
Don’t refuse to help a beggar who is in distress. Don’t turn your back on a poor person or give him any reason to curse you. If he becomes so bitter that he does curse you, his Creator will hear his prayer. (Sirach 4:5).
A Christian has a Big Heart
“Oh,” objected Norman, “I don’t want to say that.”
His father insisted. “Go and do as I tell you.” So Norman ran after the old man, caught up with him and said, “Excuse me, sir. I give you this dollar in the name of Christ.”
The old man looked at him in absolute surprise. Then a wonderful smile spread over his face. A smile that made the boy forget the beggar was dirty and unshaven, Norman could see the real face of the man through the streaks of grime – his essential mobility. Graciously, with a sort of bow, the beggar said, “I thank you, young sir, in the name of Christ.”
Norman sums up the experience thus” My irritation and annoyance faded like magic. And suddenly I was happy. The very street seemed beautiful. In fact, I believe that in the moment I held that man in full and complete esteem, I came very close to Christ Himself. And that, of course, is one of the most joyful experiences any person can ever have.
It is better to pray sincerely and to please God by helping the poor than to be rich and dishonest. It is better to give to the poor than to store up gold. Such generosity will save you from death and will wash away all your sins. (Tobit 12:8-9).
"The Christian heart is magnanimous. It is open, always. It is not a heart that is closed in on its own selfishness. Or one that’s calculating: up to this point, up to here. When you enter this light of Jesus, when you enter into Jesus’ friendship, when you let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit, the heart becomes open, magnanimous.” The Pope added that by opening up, Christians are able to gain Jesus and more effectively become His witness. "And this is one of the traits of a Christian who has received the light in Baptism and must give it. That is, the Christian is a witness, a testimony, one of the peculiarities of Christian behavior. A Christian, who brings this light, must show it because he is a witness. When a Christian would prefer not to show the light of God but prefers his own darkness, this enters his heart because he is afraid of the light. And the idols, which are dark, he likes best. So he lacks: he’s missing something and is not a true Christian. Witness: a Christian is a witness of Jesus Christ, the Light of God. He has to put that light on the lamp stand of his life." The Christian, then, does not gain, but loses. But he loses to gain something else, and in this (between quotation marks) 'defeat' of interests, he gains Jesus; he gains by becoming Jesus’ witness.”
Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are the great triumvirate of Lenten acts of penance practiced in the church for centuries. They are the three pillars of Lent. They exemplify the “righteous deeds” to which the followers of Jesus should devote themselves regularly. Lent affords an opportunity to hone these skills and to do them more effectively.
Earn the true mercy of Jesus. Follow the path shown by him and reach the position he holds. Compassion was his message. Jesus was sorely distressed at the sight of the poor. He engaged himself in a mission of mercy to the sick and the poor. He offered food to the hungry. Jesus pleaded for compassion, so you too must develop compassion. Sanctify your lives by undertaking sacred activities. This is the true purpose of human life. The human body is gifted to serve others. Man is therefore deeply indebted to God who vibrates in every limp of his body in the form of Divine energy. The only way man can clear his debt to God is by undertaking sacred actions and by working for the welfare of fellow human beings. You should sanctify your life by taking to the path of service and returning your debt to God. The heart full of compassion is the temple of God. Look upon your body as a moving temple, wherein God resides; recognize that God is always with you and around you. Therefore, maintain your body un-suffered by disease and distress. Physical, mental and spiritual health has to be fostered with vigilant care. The body should be regarded only as an instrument for right living. Keep your body clean, fresh and fragrant through developing compassion and love. Use this temple of God only for holy thoughts, words and deeds.(from the Book, Be Like Jesus).
Everything comes from the Lord; success and failure, poverty and wealth, life and death. Wisdom, understanding, knowledge of the Law, love and the doing of good deeds—all these come from the Lord. (Sirach 11:14).