Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. This has me thinking about family a lot. As many of you know, growing up, I had a very dysfunctional family. I have used these experiences as an example of what a family should not be.
As I ponder family, I also see the work the evil one is doing to divide all of us. This is not just a divide in society, but also in our families. We spend so much time looking at all the things that divide us rather than considering the vast amount of things that bind us together. This is the greatest weapon the evil one has today.
We allow him to use this weapon against us rather than stopping him by working to look beyond those differences and working together toward our common goals. I really doubt that any of us want to see people homeless, cold, poor, hungry, sick, and dying. Only a person with no conscience, no soul would find pleasure in the suffering of others. Rather than seeing these people as fellow human beings who need our help, we have allowed the evil one to whisper in our ears that these people do not deserve our help. He uses the message that they deserve their lot in life because they are lazy or unmotivated.
The reality is that they are part of our human family. Yes, they are family. And they are hurting. They need our help and rather than judging them, we need to stop and help them. I don’t care what led them to where they are today. It is not my place to pass judgement on them. No, it is my place to help them. It is my place to show them the love of God.
It takes little to nothing to help someone in need. We only need to a take a moment to change their life. It only takes a moment to make them part of our family. Are we so divided that we cannot help those who are in most need? If the government is going to turn their backs on these people, which is deplorable in and of itself, then it is up to us to help them. Are we so jaded and cold that we are willing to look the other way than to reach out a hand to help them?
They are family. They are Christ. Scripture tells us that we will be judged by how we treat those in most need among us. When we help them, we are really helping Christ who sits as the beggar at our door. Saint Miriam in Flourtown, PA has a wonderful statue at the church door of a beggar. You have to almost lay down on the ground to see under the beggar’s hood. And when you do, you see that they beggar is Jesus.
As we continue this Christmas Season, it is not too late to show the love of God to those who need it most. We need to stop and reach out a helping hand to the beggar on the street. It is up to use to help the single and abandoned mother. Our calling tells us to hug the leaper, the AIDS sufferer, the person with cancer, and bring the love of Christ to them.
Today be the hands and arms of Christ to the members of our human family who need our love and help most.