Jesus’ public life was one of service—an inclusive service which met others’ needs, both spiritual and physical. We see this again and again in his teaching and actions—where age, gender, status or race do not form barriers. It is sometimes inconvenient for us to stretch our interests and efforts even to our own family, close friends and neighbors, but we do it anyway. How much more difficult it is to reach out to those who do not fit our definition of family, friends or neighbors. But this is the acid test of what it means to be Christian, to be Christ-like, to cross possible barriers. We see others in need, whether of spiritual or physical help, and we extend ourselves. Jesus’ words tell us we can do no less: “Whatever you do to the least of my people, you do to me.” Strong words—but we must live them.
by Carol Berg, OSB