“When you have a reception, invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind.” –Luke 14:13

According to Jesus, feeding the poor is a personal responsibility. The poor must be our personal friends. We should try to get to know them by visiting them, while encouraging them to call or drop in on us. The government and Church are not to take our place in feeding the poor but to supplement our individual efforts.

We should open our homes to the poor and serve them with our own hands. We can supplement this by writing a check to a social service agency, but a check can never take the place of hands-on, in-house service to the poor.

Jesus described His ministry as preaching Good News to the poor (Lk 4:18). He said that on Judgment Day our personal service to the poor would make an eternal difference (Mt 25:34ff). Jesus freely chose to become poor (2 Cor 8:9). In our personal ministry, we must always make it a priority to “be mindful of the poor” (Gal 2:10) and have “a preferential love for the poor” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1586). We cannot love Jesus without loving the poor. They are God’s presence in our midst, a challenge with eternal consequences, and a precious opportunity to love Jesus. Love the poor.

PRAYER: Jesus, give me a profound respect for poor people, irrespective of their circumstances.
PROMISE: “Never act out of rivalry or conceit; rather, let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others’ interests rather than to his own.” –Phil 2:3-4
PRAISE: Professionals and unemployed both attend Mark’s Bible study and share the Word of God in joy.

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