The WORD in Other Words by Fr Roberto Ibay SVD (Philippines)
Monday Week 1 Lent
“Double standard, split level Christianity, or professional pietists!” We often say these to express the discrepancy between our beliefs/thoughts and actions. One level for faith/prayer and another for action/behavior. Jesus in today‘s gospel reminds us to integrate our beliefs and actions.
Jesus‘ presence is not just in the prayers, devotions and sacraments but in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick and the prisoners. Responding to the needs of these people is a concrete way of unifying “creed, cult and code.”
Serving the Lord or loving Him is taking care of our brother and sister in need: From the lens of the gospel today, following the Lord consists not only in our plans, programs, talks and promises but rather in consistent and unselfish services to help improve the lives of people around us.
Following the Lord is manifested in the “doing,” not in our ideas of Him. To the people who asked him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or naked or sick or in prison?” Jesus replied, “In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
Faith in Jesus manifests itself in reaching out with love to those who want to rise from the margins of society. It is about translating our beliefs and convictions into serving others unconditionally. Doing so we are able to harmonize our faith and our life together.