I know a man who volunteers at a St. Vincent de Paul Society center that helps the homeless. They give them food, wash their clothes, provide showers, etc. I used to look down on places like this. But thinking recently, trying to put myself in the shoes of a homeless man, I thought it is probably pretty easy to lose the dignity of life. Living in squalor most of the time, begging for money, getting food wherever you could find it. It would be easy to become a barbarian.
How pleasant it must be to the homeless to show up at this center, with people there volunteering their time, washing your clothes, to participate in the dignity of life. To be included again in society.
The people of the St. Vincent de Paul Society are doing great work. A Catholic lay organization, their motto is: “A worldwide organization of lay Catholics, following Christ’s call to serve the poor, the suffering, and the deprived.”
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’
What words! Spoken by a man 2000 years ago. As applicable today as it ever has been. His words never age.
I haven’t volunteered there, but would like to. Is there something like this in your area?
Here is the full verse:
The Judgment of the Nations
31 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”