For the past three nights I have been looking afterthought shelter. I must admit that this is not my favorite part simply because it means waking up at 4:30 in the morning. For those of you who know me, mornings are not my friend.
For the past two nights there has been a man coming in on cruches. Prior to entering the shelter, everyone must remove their shoes and will remove their socks as well so as to use the sandals to move around the cold concrete floor. This man will sit down and take off his boots. But the socks are too much for him, he cannot bend sufficiently to take them off. The first night I offered to help him and he gladly accepted the help. His socks, however, were quite dirty. But I helped him.
The second night the prospect of helping him again slightly disgusted me, only because the state of his socks. Then it hit me: Jesus is giving me the opportunity to change His socks for Him. This second time I wrapped my hands around the grubby socks and removed them with no disgust at all. I was serving Jesus.
It is amazing how love can motivate oneself and transform the optics by which we see the situation. It is no longer about the unfortunate state the people you serve are in. Rather, it is about offering them comfort and consolation. In the Poor, we are consoling the heart of Jesus. He is sore, tired, lonely, even disgusting. But it is Jesus Who is in the Poor. To know Christ Jesus means to know that He has a heart aflame with love for us. Yet how much that love is ignored and rejected. His heart is sorrowful because He loves, but we refuse to return the love. Yet in the Poor, we can run to console the heart which loves so much yet is loved so little.
Our signs of love towards Jesus need not be great acts. They need only be small acts of consolation to the Poor who bear His Presence in a special way. It need only be to help Him with taking the socks off of the foot of a man who is unable to do it Himself. If, through our daily prayer with Him in the Blessed Sacrament, where we receive His loving gaze in our hearts, we learn to see that He is in all things. This we can see that it is in the concrete situations of our daily lives that we can return our love to Him, thus consoling the burning flames of His Love.
In Christ through Mary