“Today Christ stands at the door and knocks in the person of his poor.
It is to him that we open when we give aid, when we give ourselves to those in need.
For he tells us plainly, ‘Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members
of my family, you did it to me.'”
–Saint Anthony of Padua
A Holocaust story related by the writer Elie Wiesel in his book Night, tells how Nazi guards hung a group of prisoners in view of the rest of the death camp. Someone in the crowd asks,” Where is God now?” Wiesel relates that he thought to himself, “Here He is—He is hanging here on these gallows.”
In today’s pandemic, the news shows us the count of the thousands dying all over the world and many more seriously ill. I am sure someone may be tempted to ask, “Where is God?” Saint Anthony provides us an answer: “Today Christ stands at the door and knocks in the person of his poor.” It is Christ who is present in those countless suffering people, including their anguished family members as well.
Anthony adds that Christ is also present “when we give aid, when we give ourselves to those in need.”
Each of us has something we can offer to Christ’s suffering poor: in ways great and small. For those on the front lines of the pandemic, there is great sacrifice. For others, acts of kindness are not measured in magnitude, but in the love with which they are offered.
May God today show us those “who are the least among the members of God’s family.”