The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Least Brother

Where do we see Christ?

Many would say in the eyes of our loved ones. Others in the kind acts of charity one does for another. Catholics would certainly say we see Him in Eucharist.

How often do we look at a homeless person or a drug addict and say, "Yes, Christ is right there." It's a side of our Lord that is difficult to look at. The broken Christ. The lonely Christ. The abandoned Christ. And yet He is there. He tells us in scripture that whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me.

Yesterday at daily mass, a homeless fellow came into the Church. He was skinny, unshaven, and wore a pair of jeans that were two sizes too big that he constantly had to hitch up. After watching his mannerisms, I concluded that he was probably a heroine of meth addict. He was fidgety, and couldn't sit in one place for very long. He hopped from one pew to the next. At one point he pulled out a small notebook and furiously scribbled something on a piece of paper. I prayed to Christ, "give him peace."

When the gentleman finally landed somewhere he felt suitable, it was right behind me. As mass started, his demeanor changed. In back of me I heard this soft, gentle voice participating in the mass. His uneasiness subsided and he seemed to be at peace. After the Lord's Prayer as we exchanged the sign of peace, I looked into his eyes, and yes, Christ was there.

I wanted to offer him a meal after mass, but he left right after communion. I pray he finds help for his addiction, and I hope I see him again at mass. He is one of God's ideas, and though life has beat him down, he deserves the dignity that all people should be afforded precisely because they are a thought of God.


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