Connecting Point

Connecting Point Jan 15, 2023

In the Gospel this week, John the Baptist proclaims Jesus the Christ by saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus in fact fulfills the vision of Isaiah from the first reading, “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

It is wonderful to think of Jesus as the light to the nations and all, but what about you and me? Do we participate in this mission of bringing Christ’s light to the ends of the earth? We find the answer to this in our Baptism where we are each anointed as members of Jesus Christ, priest, prophet and king. As members of Christ we have the same calling to be a light of salvation to our end of the earth. This can seem more than a little overwhelming.

How can I make the light of Christ known?  Well, the church gives us a blueprint of 14 ways in which we as Catholic Christians make the light of Christ known. They are called the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy:

Corporal Works of Mercy
1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. Shelter the homeless
5. Visit the Sick
6. Visit the imprisoned
7. Bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy
1. Counsel the doubtful
2. Instruct the ignorant
3. Admonish sinners
4. Comfort the afflicted
5. Forgive offences
6. Bear wrongs patiently
7. Pray for the living and the dead

All these works of mercy have one thing in common. They respond with love and mercy to the needs of others. In fact, every time we respond to someone in need with compassion, we make known the light of Christ. Throughout each day, God gives us so many opportunities to do just that by; making lunches for the kids, speaking a kind word to the clerk at the checkout, blessings rather than cursing the person that cuts in front of me, listening to a coworker, giving a hug, or cheering someone up. The list goes on and on of the little ways in which we are called to make the light of Christ known. As Therese of Lisieux advises us, we don’t have to do great things we just have to do all the little things with Great Love.

Peace and Love in Christ,

Fr. Chris Talbot, Priest in solidum