Imagine if Jesus came to you in poverty, hunger and cold and He asked you to care for Him. This experience might startle you and cause you to question if this person really was Jesus. But it is Jesus. Jesus comes to us every day in the person who is in need. It may be that we encounter someone who is homeless, hungry and in need of clothing. If this is the case then this is Jesus. But there are many whom we encounter every day who have a different form of hunger and thirst. Many are starving for love, understanding, compassion and attention. They may present an exterior that is unwelcoming, but inside they are our Lord, seeking to receive mercy from your heart. Do not hesitate to see our Lord present in every person you encounter. Lavish the mercy of your heart on them, especially the most pitiable soul, and you will have lavished your love on Jesus Himself (See Diary #1312).
How do you treat the poor and the beggar? Start by thinking about those with physical needs but move deeper to consider all those who carry other needs. Think about the hard of heart, the sinner, the proud, the arrogant, the person filled with anger, etc. Every person you call to mind is our Lord coming to you for a taste of the mercy of your heart. Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to Christ. Do you believe this? If you do then this belief must have the practical consequences of you showing mercy to everyone, especially those whom you find most difficult to love. Ponder this practical question today and make a commitment to seek out our Lord in the next “beggar” that you meet, no matter how undesirable they appear.
Lord, I love You and I realize that I must seek You out in each person I encounter. Give me the eyes to see You and a heart to love You. As I love You in others, dear Lord, allow the mercy in my heart to give you a sweet delight. Jesus, I trust in You.
Featured image above: Beggar with a Ukrainian Lyra by Nikolay Svishchev-Paola, via Wikimedia Commons