Wednesday 28 October 2015

Saint Martin of Tours, 11rd NovemberSaint Martin de Tours, le 11 novembre

"Then the king will say ’Come, you whom the Father has blessed.’

Ml.6,6-8 Ps.1 Mt. 25,31-46

Saint Martin of Tours 11th November

“When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on the throne of glory. All nations will be assembled before him, and he will seperate people one from another as the shepherd seperates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on the left.”

As we celebrate Saint Martin of Tours, the Church places us in the Merciful Tenderness of God, who, in Jesus Chrsit made Himself close to the little ones and the poor. Jesus tells us again his Love for these little ones to whom he identifies himself : ’For I was hungry and you gave me to eat ; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you dressed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you visited me.’ We are questioned about how we act in our daily life, the place we give to charity, which we want to live out. We may well have lovely thoughts about life as a Chrsitian, we might have great intelligence of faith, but what Jesus is waiting for is that we put pourselves at the service of the poor, the humble and the little ones. We contemplate Jesus who encounters the leper, the paralytic, the one who puts himself at the service of the little ones. On the evening of Maundy Thursday, he washed the feet of his disciples. It is by loving mercy, in doing what is good that we walk humbly with God, who is so present in our daily lives and who calls us to serve Him. And this is when we come to the understanding that we are in great poverty, and are in great need of other people.

“Then it will be their turn to ask : ’When did we see you hungry or feed you, or thirsty and give you to drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and we came to see you?”

It is in contemplating Jesus that we can come to recognise Him; he is the one who draws close to each person, he is the one who realises this great and beautiful programme of love for others, who realises this practical charity. By being welcoming towards the poor one and in serving him in his vital needs, it is God Himself whom we encounter, yes,we discover God Himself. It is God Himself whom we admire in the little ones, the poor, the excluded, the

foreigner and the sick, the one who is in prison! Saint Martin doesn’t look at himself as he gives half of his cloak to the beggar, and this is when he realise s that it is truely God Present in this poor person. God is present in the poor, He is present in this welcome I make towards another, He is present in me and this is where He is waiting for me!

“And the king will answer, ’ Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

What Jesus brings about is a revolution and not so much a moral necessity. It is not a consequence of Chrsitian life, but rather the heart of our Chrsitian life. I encounter God in the face of the one who is little and poor; I am truely close to Him, to He who is Love, where God isn’t so much the one who invites me to serve but the one who is waiting for me in simple gestures of daily life. The service of the little and poor ones is therefore a present that God gives to me, in order to encounter Him. It is the place where He gives me His grace. May the Holy Spirit allow me today to grow in the desire to encounter Jesu who made Himself into a small child, who accepted to be in agony and crucified for us out of Love, so as to join Him in His Immense Love. And so from now on it is such happiness to serve the Living God! Those who do good do not realise it, for God has put a great Love into their hearts. If we allow this Love to rise up in us, the grace joins those whom God has placed on our path, ’Living Jesus’ amongst us.

We ask for the grace to find once more the simplicity of the Gospel, a Love bursting forth at the heart of our lives.