Loving Those Who Don’t Merit It
“The proof of authentic faith in Christ is self-giving and the spreading of love for our neighbors, especially for those who do not merit it, for the suffering and for the marginalized.” -Message by Pope Francis for the 22nd World Day of the Sick 2014
Our Holy Father has had much to say about reaching out to our brothers and sisters in recent years. A very large part of his ministry has been to awaken all of us to becoming more loving and giving people to the world. He is a great example to all of us in this way! Francis has made “loving God and loving others” a huge part of his message to all of us at this time in history. There is much to pray about in our world, but the wisdom of our Holy Father is that we will bring about this mission in a greater way when we begin with charity for those in need.
It is usually less challenging to love people who are easy to love. When it’s a lovable family member or friend, it isn’t quite as distasteful to help that person. When it is someone we don’t know or a person we aren’t crazy about, it’s much more difficult. This is the message of Pope Francis and it is also the message of Our Lord. The message is to love all people, even those who can never repay us.
Being a more authentic human being is a good goal for anyone. When it comes to the faith-life, it is even more important. If our love for God is not real, we will not move forward in faith to accomplish the mission God has for us. This is where prayer comes into play full-force. Without prayer and without the Holy Spirit, we have no chance of developing “authentic faith.” Step One must be our relationship with God, which develops through prayer and time with Him. Being “authentic” is certainly a good life goal. It will also lead to a happiness in this life that only comes from a close friendship with God.
Becoming more “self-giving” will lead us to love! Christ teaches us that without sacrifice, love does not exist. Love is much more than a feeling. It is a true decision to reach out to people, giving ourselves and our time to a person who needs our help. Of course, we must combine this with authenticity and prayer. When we do this, we will be able to give ourselves in love through the grace of God. It will not be easy. With Our Lord and Our Lady praying for us, we can do it. The Sacraments of our Church are our greatest gift!
I think when we take our time to pray and reflect, God will lead us in the right direction on how we can become a “gift to others.” Sometimes it will come naturally. We will see a situation and the Lord will lead us. Other times we will have to slow down and think about how to handle a situation. He will show us the way to give ourselves in an appropriate way and at the proper time. Timing is big. We need to wait on the Lord and see which direction he wishes us to take. We pray to him and ask his to guide us to become more self-giving in our lives.
Reaching Out to those Who Cannot Repay
As we pray to the Holy Spirit for an openness, we ask Jesus to show us people we can help. These people may be those who will never be able to repay you for your guidance and prayers. It is Christ-like to wait on God for his own guidance toward us to make a difference for people who need help. Only through the grace of God will we be able to do the right thing at the right time. So our prayer must be for God’s guidance and also for his providence. Because all good things come straight from him and not from ourselves. We thank God for his Holy Spirit which is our life-line in all we do!
Think about our Holy Father and his own witness of faith in loving those who cannot repay. Francis is a true peace-maker. His loving guidance is so needed at this time in history. He knows that all of life’s questions are only answered in Our Lord Jesus Christ. We turn to Pope Francis for his prayers and his guidance … always. Christ is his model of love. Let us lift our prayers for the world and for each individual person to be blessed by the love of God!
Copyright 2017 Anne DeSantis