from the Companion Director Team
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me’” (Mt 25:37-40).
As we continue our Lenten journey into the Paschal Mystery, our focus remains on the life of Jesus as he walked the ground that we walk. We are so privileged that his words have been captured in Sacred Scripture. Matthew 25:31-46, is an excellent example of his straight forward, no nonsense approach to preaching. His message is perfectly clear. Caring for the least among us is not an option. It is a mandate.
I had the privilege of serving on a team who presented a Residents Encounter Christ (REC) retreat this past weekend in a women’s prison. The first day is referred to as “Die Day.” The focus is on dying to all those things about ourselves that are not of God to prepare for “Rise Day” the following day. Sounds like our Lenten journey, doesn’t it? A picture of Jesus is placed in a prominent spot. Depending upon how you perceive the picture, Jesus is either behind bars himself or he is on the other side looking in. Christ was definitely present as this group gathered in his name. He was a welcome guest for inmates who clung to him as their source of hope. The REC team was renewed and fortified by an experience of Christ in the women we served.
Gather Send, the vision statement of the companion movement speaks clearly that as Precious Blood people we are motivated to bring hope and reconciliation to a wounded world, to be ambassadors of Christ to the edges of society, and to share the gifts we have been given with the rest of the world. There is no shortage of people who are struggling in our world today. We find them in schools, hospitals, shelters, on the streets, in nursing homes, in prisons, crossing the border, in our own home, in our own communities… We not only find God’s little ones imprisoned by bars, but we also find them bound by such things as loneliness, poverty, illness, disabilities, and situational crises. Sometimes we are the ones struggling while at other times, we are in position to minister to the needs of others. And when we do, may we be strengthened and uplifted by the presence of Christ in those we serve.