Simple Reflections (Part 3)

These three sets of reflections offer insights on how our human journey converges with our hope-giving faith journey.  They invite us to contemplate on how day-to-day conflicts, grievances and other burdens are mended by our faith in eternal God’s mercy and caring for others’ dignity.

Central to these reflections is the theme of sisterly and brotherly love, and service to others, including “listening with our hearts”, fostering deep relationships with those in need, sharing our gifts with them and growing our spirituality.

 Simple Reflections (Part 3) by Jose I. Torres

Reflection 5 (Being in Communion with the Poor and Christ)

“Blessed are you poor, yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20); “I was hungry and you gave me food to eat” (Matthew 25:35)

Pope Francis writes in the “The Joy of the Gospel” about Jesus as the Gospel in person who identifies especially with the little ones, reminding us Christians that we are called to care for the vulnerable of the earth and pointing to the importance of drawing near to new forms of poverty, in which we are called to recognize the suffering Christ.  The Holy Father further calls us to forge a personal and committed relationship with God which at the same time commits us to serving others, and learn to find Jesus in the faces of others, in their voices, in their pleas.

Reflection Questions

  1. How do we help the poor to live with dignity? How do you promote recognition of those people and help them find opportunities in life?

2:  Have you been at times inattentive or indifferent to our neighbour’s needs? Do you always “listen with your heart”?  What role does this listening with discernment play in your life?  Has listening with your heart led you to a deeper awareness and understanding of the needs of our sisters and brothers?

3: The Holy Father also reminds us the Gospel tells us to constantly run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. What have your interactions with our sisters- and brothers-in-need taught you?  Have those made you recognize God wishes to share with you His mysterious wisdom through them?

  1. Do you consider your face-to-face experiences with our neighbours-in-need as one of forming new relationships brought by Christ no less?
  2. As a member of the Christian community, how do you make the poor “feel at home”? What is your neighbour-in-need’s deepest hunger?  What are some barriers rendering us to be incapable of understanding and acting on their hunger?

Reflection 6 (Sharing Your Gifts)

“To one is given the expression of wisdom; to another knowledge; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another, gift of healing; to another, mighty deeds.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10)

The Holy Father in his address for the opening of the Synod on October 9, 2021 reminds us the Holy Spirit guides us where God wants us to be, not where our own ideas and personal tastes would lead us.

 Reflection Questions

  1. What is one grace or gift you have shared with your neighbours-in-need
  2. If today were your last day on Earth, could you render a clear account of how you used the many gifts given to you? Are there gifts you take for granted?
  3. Describe how your relationship to those who are on the margins shares and brings hope to the worlld?Have you felt the Holy Spirit’s call for roles of leadership and further service to lay organizations working to care for others? Have you given heed to the call so far?
  4. How can you lead others by acts of service?Are there patterns to your generosity? Is your caring for others crisis-driven and time-bounded?

Jose Jose is a chartered professional accountant. He has been a mass lector, a member of the finance council and member of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) – all at Saint John of the Cross, Mississauga, Ontario. He recently joined the SSVP Toronto Central Council Spirituality Committee as member.

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