Monday of the First week of Lent
"You did it for me"
Do you suppose that charity is not an obligation but voluntary ? That it is not a law but merely a counsel? I should like it to be so, too, and would gladly think so. But God’s left hand gives me cause for alarm, the place where he has set the goats to whom he addresses his reproaches, not because they stole, plundered, committed adultery or perpetrated other such faults, but because they did not honor Christ in the person of his poor.
If you are willing to listen to me, then, O servants of Christ, his brothers and co-heirs, I say that we should visit Christ while there is an opportunity, take care of him and feed him. We should clothe Christ and welcome him. We should honor him, not only at our table, like some; not only with ointments, like Mary Magdalene; not only with a sepulchre, like Joseph of Arimathea; nor with things which have to do with his burial, like Nicodemus… nor finally with gold, incense and myrrh, like the Magi.
But, as the Lord of all “desires mercy and not sacrifice” (Mt 9,13), and as compassion is better than tens of thousands of fat rams, let us offer him this mercy through the needy and those who are at present cast down to the ground. Let us do this so that, when we depart hence, they may “welcome us into the eternal habitations” (Lk 16,9), in the same Christ our Lord, to whom be glory for ever.