April 21, 2016: Thursday, Fourth Week of Easter

Whoever receives the one I send receives me. (John 13: 20)

            The most difficult thing for us to grasp is the mystery of the incarnation. In Jesus, God has taken flesh and pitched his tent among us. He has so invested himself in us that whatever we may do to the least of humanity, we do to him.

            How useful a lesson of humility it teaches you, and how directly this virtue leads to God. Because serving God is as close as the person next to you. “If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it” (John 13: 17). Even if you do not understand it, it is a blessing. We are not commanded to understand our neighbor, but to love them.

            And this service of God in our neighbor will bring opposition and suffering. “The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me” (John 13: 18). We are not social workers. We do not serve the poor and the sinner because it is a good thing to do. We do it because they are the Lord in “His most distressing disguise” as Blessed Theresa of Calcutta used to say often.

Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. (Cincinnati)

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