In this Year of Mercy as proclaimed by Pope Francis I, we might do well to call to mind the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and how we live those in our daily lives. Many of you, at first thought, might feel as though you really don’t engage in the works of mercy on a regular basis. I believe that you actually do engage in them, almost daily. The problem is, we do not use the language of “Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy” very often; not in thought or as we speak. Let’s take a look at the list:
Corporal Works of Mercy – (corporal—from root word corpse or body)
Feed the hungry. Give drink to the thirsty.
Shelter the homeless.
Clothe the naked.
Care for the sick.
Visit the imprisoned.
Bury the dead.
So, have you in the past few days or weeks prepared a meal for anyone or shared a meal with anyone? Do you give food to the local food shelf? Have you ever provided a drink to someone on a hot summer day? Have you cared for or visited anyone who was sick or lonely, imprisoned or confined for any reason? Have you attended a wake or funeral, or visited a grave site? Do you assist at funerals?
Do you donate funds in times of natural disasters to provide water or food or clothing for others?
Spiritual Works of Mercy
Be patient with others.
Give advice to those who need it.
Comfort those who suffer.
Forgive those who hurt you.
Give correction to those who need it.
Pray for the living and the dead.
Do you share the knowledge that you have, the things that you have learned in life with others; at home, at work, within your community? Do you forgive your children or your spouse or others who hurt you with their words or actions? Do you offer kind words of advice with sensitivity? Have you ever called or visited a friend who is going through a difficult time to offer prayers or words of comfort? Do you remember others when you pray asking God to be with them? Do you pray for loved ones who have died?
I am confident you have answered YES to many of these questions. If so, you are indeed living the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and you are doing that daily!
Let us together hold these works in our hearts and make a more conscious effort to actively engage in them. To do so as we do, let us name these actions for what they are in an effort to share our knowledge inviting our children and grandchildren, our friends and co-workers to do the same; thereby building the Kingdom of God here and now!
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC