Mutual help to remain in God
Everyone deserves to know the truth about God and how God sees the way we should build our relationship with Him and with one another. All of these are revealed to us and we pass it on from generation to generation. St Paul, who was very determined to share the Gospel with all clarity and loving care, says: “For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” (1 Tess 2:3-8)
The love towards God and our neighbours expresses itself not only in various polite manners and fraternal support according to our impulses and inspirations, but in all in corporal and spiritual works of mercy:
The corporal works include: 1. To feed the hungry. 2. To give water to the thirsty. 3. To clothe the naked. 4. To shelter the homeless. 5. To visit the sick 6. To visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive. 7. To bury the dead.
The spiritual works include: 1.To instruct the ignorant. 2. To counsel the doubtful. 3. To admonish the sinners. 4. To bear patiently those who wrong us. 5. To forgive offences. 6. To comfort the afflicted. 7. To pray for the living and the dead.
It looks like the most challenging works of mercy are: “instructing the ignorant”, “admonishing the sinners”, “forgiving offences. The attitude of the Lord himself towards everyone, the attitude of St John the Baptist towards king Herod, St Tomas Moore and John Fisher towards the king Henry VIII, or the amazing testimony of Dame Cecily Stonor about the reverence towards the Holy Mass, are great examples for us.
We must be careful though that we do not drink the poison of judgmental attitude of a Pharisee, and the poison of hypocrite who does not want to deal with a plank in his own eye and is scandalised with the speck in his neighbor’s eye.
One must be humble and ready to embrace the cross indeed to truly love God and one another. Otherwise we easily slip into flattery or ignorant, judgmental and hypocritical attitudes.