What is the golden rule? It is, according to the preacher at lunch time mass today, the rule to which all human beings could subscribe. I agree. It is the rule that says you do to others what you want others to do to you. If we could but follow this there would be more happiness and less pain in this world. It may seem like a tall order but it is not so.
I found the homily today very meaningful, and for me, the best thing to do so as not to dismiss what I hear is to write it down.
Fr Glen went on his sabbatical in the States in 2009. One cold night, he went to watch a musical with 15 priests. He was a little surprised that a rich country like the U.S. should have so many homeless people. It seemed like he met them in the train stations and also right in front of the theatre. Some of those in front of the theatre even came up to the priests and others present to ask for alms. Many including Fr Glen muttered under their breath at having had to ‘do battle’ with so many homeless people seeking some form of help or other. It seemed like the last straw when one homeless man was found rummaging a dust bin just outside the theatre. Fr Glen told himself under his breath that the man ought to go and get a job.
In the theatre, the actor playing John the Baptist would appear from one side of the stage and on the other side, the actor playing Jesus was to appear. He did. The priests who were watching the musical on Jesus Christ certainly did not fail to receive the message of the Gospel from St Luke. It came in a most unexpected but powerful way.
Lo and behold, the actor playing Jesus appeared and he turned out to be the homeless man who was playing the role of Jesus. All the other homeless men had acted so well that the priests (and other people, for sure) were fooled completely. Fr Glen said that their jaws dropped and the message hit home very powerfully. If one could not see Jesus in the poor, one failed miserably in the test of loving one’s neighbour.
Today we celebrate the memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary. She is noted for her works of mercy. She gave up a wealthy life as the wife of the King’s son when she became a young widow. She built hospitals for the poor and tended to them with love. She saw Jesus in each one.
What a powerful homily from Fr Glen today! May our eyes be open to see Christ in our brothers and sisters! Lord, help us!