August 23, 2005

Love Always Cares and Protects (2)

1 Cor. 13:7a; Matthew 25:31-46

The King will reply, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

—  Matthew 25:40

Several years ago I read a fascinating account of a reporter who described an incident he witnessed in the ministry of the late Mother Teresa. He watched as she bore the burden of a poor, dying man. As she removed the man’s rags, the stench was overwhelming. The exposed flesh was one large wound covered with squirming maggots. Mother Teresa talked quietly with the man as she cleaned his body and cut away the rotten flesh. The stench grew worse, but Mother Teresa did not pull back. Later, when the reporter asked her how she could stand the horror and the stench in her ministry, Mother Teresa answered: “When I cleanse the wounds of the poor, I am cleansing the wounds of Christ.”

Love empowers each of us to do what we can, where we are, to bear the burdens of others.

The other day I came across an inspiring story in a local newspaper concerning a Christian woman who was serving as a volunteer in a program set up to help ex-offenders, recent immigrants, battered women, the developmentally disabled, drug addicts. She discovered many of these people had great faith in God, and that serving among them strengthened her own faith.

Jesus’ burden-bearers will one day hear him say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” 

Father, by your Spirit, move me to bear the burdens of others. As I serve you in this way, strengthen me in faith, hope, and love. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen. ​

About the author — Richard E. Williams

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