So much of our world has changed this last year, but the one thing that will stay the same is the need for mercy. There are several ways to share our Catholic Faith with others, and one of the ways is through good works tending to the physical needs of others. Jesus provided for the physical needs of others during his ministry by feeding the disciples, and performing healing miracles for the disabilities and ailments, then he won hearts when they heard his word. We can follow this example through corporal works of mercy, but what are they?
Feed the hungry
We can go to a food pantry or homeless shelter and give meals to the poor, but what about in your own neighborhood? Is there a family with a new baby or sick family member who may need a healthy meal? Or maybe the parents of your kids friends may not be able to provide their kids lunches? There are so many ‘hidden’ who are hungry, just open your eyes.
Drink to the thirsty
While we can go a few days without food, we cannot go without water. In our homes, don’t waste the water we do get right to our kitchens and bathrooms! Close those faucets! Worldwide, so many don’t have access to clean water—you can donate to dig wells or provide water to the homeless.
Visit the sick
. . . and there have been a lot of sick, unfortunately. While we may be limited by new regulations on visiting those who are sick, be sure to take care of those in our family that you do have close access to. You can call your local hospital or nursing home to see if there is anything they need to help them take care of their residents. Check on neighbors or those in your Church who may be lonely. Also be sure to take care of yourself. If you and your family aren’t well, you won’t be able to take care of others.
Visit the prisoners
Again, this has be limited by the pandemic, but you can see what your parishes are doing for the prisoners. You can write letters sharing God’s mercy and forgiveness, or find charities who help support families of those whose parents are imprisoned.
Bury the dead
There have been so many who have died over this last year, but were unable to have a proper funeral because of restrictions. If you have a family member whose funeral was delayed, be sure to speak with your parish to get them a service. If you know of a death of a family member or friend, be sure to say prayers and send a card. Visit their gravesites and continue to pray for all the dead. They are also praying for us too, this is our faith.
Give alms to the poor
We can’t do everything on our own, we need others and organizations who can do more by collecting from us. Giving to charities who provide for the other six Corporal works will allow those to help those in desperate need across our cities, states, nation and worldwide!
Showing good works isn’t always easy, but it is simple. Even those who don’t have much, still have so much to offer through the works of mercy. Donating time and talents are just as large of an offering as money is. Don’t feel like your little bit won’t make a difference. Your offering can and will change the lives who receive them—even if you may not see the final results. Just like Jesus who changed lives through his good works, you too can join him offering your mercy to others.
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