Serve Christ in Serving Others
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
‘Thus says the LORD: "You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry.”’
The Christian desire to care for the most vulnerable of our society is rooted in both compassion and common sense. We strive to love our neighbor as ourselves in imitation of Jesus, and we recognize the necessity of solidarity in our society because we are just as likely to be poor, lost, or displaced in the future. Our reading from Exodus this Sunday calls upon the cultural memory of the People of Israel: as they were once disadvantaged and downtrodden in Egypt, so they should have compassion on the downtrodden in Israel. God heard their cries in the desert, so too He hears the cry of the poor here and now.
Ultimately, what God calls us to do is to recognize, revere, and protect the dignity of every human person, especially those whose dignity is under attack by others. We rally to defend the weak and the oppressed—those who cannot defend themselves. We are not just pro-life (though this is first and foremost in our efforts), we are pro-dignity. Thus we defend and treasure every human person from conception to natural death. We defend the unborn and the elderly, even if our society deems them inconvenient or irrelevant. We fight for the rights of immigrants and homeless persons and seek to provide them with stability, security, healing, and dignity. We recognize that in an instant, through tragedy, political upheaval, or natural disaster, we could find ourselves in equally dire need. We truly do all need each other, and all need Christ and His Church.
We, who are privileged to belong to the Body of Christ, the Church, are called to practice the Works of Mercy that Christ Jesus Himself taught us. We feed the hungry, care for the sick, instruct the ignorant, welcome strangers, and bury the dead not because it is politically correct or personally advantageous, but because their humanity cries out to our humanity, and because the Divine Love that lives within our hearts impels us to serve Christ in serving them.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn