Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Our parish Secretary, Debra, e-mailed me late last week with an e-mail titled, "WOW!" As I pondered for a second what might have happened to cause her to e-mail me such an e-mail with such an astonishing term, I found myself, if only for a fraction of a second, being skeptical. I thought and wondered, "What happened?" After that fraction of a second, I returned to my optimistic self and anxiously and enthusiastically opened the e-mail that I was sure contained a wonderful anecdote, story, or situation. I was not disappointed.
As you hopefully are aware, you, the People of God at All Saints, contribute to the Rector's and Deacon's Discretionary Fund on the first Sunday of each month. All non-designated cash and checks are given to this fund to help those in need in our community, parish, and the world.
Now to continue the story...A few weeks ago a young woman stopped by All Saints looking for some assistance in the form of gas. She had just gotten a job and hadn't gotten paid yet. She was out of gas and would be terminated if she couldn't get to work. We helped her and put $25 worth of gas in her car, she thanked us and went on her way. This young woman returned to thank us again for our generosity and spirit and wanted to make a contribution to the All Saints. She "restocked" the Discretionary Fund with $40. A wonderful sacrificial act of giving back, paying forward, and honoring the ministry of the church.
This may seem like a small "blip," an insignificant, but nice story. I would like to share with you that this was anything but an insignificant "blip." It was the very presence of God revealed in the soul and body of a young, struggling woman. For that Debra and I are tremendously grateful.
A few words from Mother Teresa to focus our experience:
"In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us that when we meet those in need, we meet Him, and that when we serve those in need, we serve Him. The Christ she met in the Eucharist each day revealed to her His presence in the poor.
Teresa also reminds us that if Christ is present in the poor, we have much to learn from them. They teach us about human dignity, patience, and wisdom. It is, as Teresa said, a privilege to live with and serve the poor."
Teresa wrote, "In the Eucharist, I see Christ in the appearance of the bread. In the slums, I see Christ in the ... poor. Sometimes we meet Jesus rejected and covered in filth in the gutter. Sometimes we find Jesus stuffed into a drain, or moaning with pain from sores or rotting with gangrene, or even screaming from the agony of a broken back. The most distressing disguise calls for even more love from us."
"We can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by the society -- completely forgotten, completely left alone. That is the greatest poverty of the rich countries."
May we all remember to see Jesus Christ in ALL those we meet.
Blessings & Peace,
All Saints Messenger >