Growing up Catholic means I must have heard a million times the passage in Matthew’s Gospel about how doing things for the “least of these” means you have done them for Jesus. Okay, that is an exaggeration to make a point. But it has been a slogan for so many social justice activities, from clothing and canned food drives, to letter writing campaigns and peaceful protests.
Growing up I only knew how to help the least of these through the school and church activities of the time. Today, YouTube and GodTube are filled with videos of creative ways people reach out to one another. Have you seen the one about the pizza party for the homeless? How about the fake lottery ticket or the house bought from online donations for a poor man? There are even videos of people paying for the car behind them at the drive-through! The awesome thing about this is that it serves as a witness to others. It is not boasting but instead sharing the Good News. Giving and good stewardship can be contagious!
Our pastor has several times over the years handed out $10 bills to confirmation candidates and asked them to “pay it forward.” They can keep the money or use it to make a difference in someone else’s life. One teen planted a garden for an elderly woman. One bought ingredients for brownies and sold them to give even more than $10 to charity. The teens not only learned something about good stewardship in the process, but also served as great examples to the parish community.
As always, there is much to be done. The King is coming soon! Let’s spread the news and some love at the same time!
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS