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For the Least of These
Sunday, October 23 2011

Helping the Poor...

When was the last time you reached out?

"If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?"  -1 John 3:17, NAB

With the fast-paced world we live in, it is easy to get drawn into our the fast pace of our own lives.  While life rushes us by, we lose sight of the people around us, especially those in need.  

Recently, I had the opportunity to be reminded of the amount of people in need in my community.  While working with a local homeless shelter, I was able to see how appreciative they were of the things I generally take for granted.  As I finished up my shift and began driving home, I saw many of those we had just helped walking down the highway, going back to their usual hang-outs.  Reality hit.  We provided them shelter for a night, but they would spend the next six nights on the streets, without guaranteed food or shelter.

Another story that touched me recently came from a friend who went on a mission trip to Haiti.  One of his most gut-wrenching stories involved a Haitian orphanage run by some local nuns.  There are so many kids in need of help that the rooms are filled end-to-end with cribs.  Many of these kids do not even learn to walk by age 3, and most of them have a constant blank stare on their face.  While the nuns try to show them love, there are more kids than they can manage, and the kids grow up unresponsive.  This truly puts things in perspective.

The problems in your life may seem important to you, and I am sure they are.  Yet, for all of the problems we face, there are those who struggle just to survive. Basic water, food, and shelter, things that we take for granted, are everyday struggles for them.  We must stand up and help them.  We need to stop pretending that we do not know they are there.  I am not asking you to go open your own homeless shelter; I am only challenging you to give whatever time and money you can spare to help.

In Matthew 25, Jesus speaks of when He will come again to judge the people for their actions.  On one hand, Christ welcomes those who reached out to help those in need, and He scolded those who did not.  Then, He tells them:

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."  -Matthew 25:40, NAB

Brothers and sisters, there are people in this world who desparately need our help.  Let's set our small problems aside for the moment and offer a helping hand.  Jesus judged those who helped, and those who did not.  When you stand before the Son of God, what will He say to you?

 

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