"He noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins." Mk 12:42
Any society, especially any local church or parish, that becomes too concerned with maintaining its internal life will slowly die if it fails to notice and reach out to the needy. As we near the end of another liturgical year we are reminded of this simple truth over and over. All our spiritual practices, especially prayer, while at first blush appearing to be about our inner life, are in fact about making our salvation known to others.
No matter how often we say it or reemphasize it, the Gospel is a gift that must be given away. While it is a rule of life and a guide for how to negotiate life's difficulties, it's primary purpose is to announce the saving work of Jesus by doing justice, redressing wrongs, and listening to the cry of the poor. These behaviors allow God to do God's work.
Though it can be difficult and agitational for those who demean the efforts of the poor on their own behalf, doing justice is always convincing. When Christians feed the hungry and care for the poor in the name of Jesus, their actions speak much louder than their words.
Today, decide to help someone in need without them knowing it.
Whose work on behalf of the poor do you most admire?