the chain of commands
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." —Leviticus 19:18
On Ash Wednesday, the Lord commanded us to give alms (see Mt 6:2). On Thursday, He commanded us to choose life (Dt 30:19). One of Friday's commands was to share our "bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless" (Is 58:7). On Saturday, the Lord again told us to bestow our bread on the hungry (Is 58:10).
Today, the Lord continues His chain of commands by telling us to not stand by idly while our neighbor's life is at stake (Lv 19:16). We should feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, comfort the ill, and visit the imprisoned (Mt 25:35-36). Jesus even goes so far as to assure us: "As often as you did it for one of My least brothers, you did it for Me" (Mt 25:40).
It's safe to say the Lord is trying to tell us something. He commands us to give sacrificially to the poor of our city and of the world. He calls us not just to give from our surplus but give till it hurts. He calls us to a radical change of lifestyle and to a life of Gospel simplicity. If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart (Ps 95:7-8).
Prayer: Father, give me solidarity with the poor of the third and fourth worlds.
Promise: "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." —Lv 19:2
Praise: Bill, a grade school principal, led his school in collecting and then personally delivering survival boxes to a hurricane-ridden city.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Obedience School or on tape entitled Obeying God on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011
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