Sermon at Mass – St Martin November 11th

Doing the little things in Ministry with love for the poor.
Matthew 25 v 31-40
Here Jesus tells us at what you did to the list of these little ones you have done it to me.

1. Today we celebrate the feast St Martin of Tours. He was born in Hungary and was appointed eventually a bishop in France. He lived long time ago. There are many story about his charity and care for the poor. The most famous story is of his, give his cloak to a very poor man on a cold day. It was said that if you look around the poor man was Jesus. The story of life of St Martin of Tours and his care for the poor and his work for the unity was the great … of the early middle ages.
Martin lived out command of Jesus , what is done to the little ones has been done to him.

2. Mother Theresa visited the country where there was family. Many children were dying of hunger. One little child she held in her arms and gave the child half slice of bread. The child began to eat the bread crumbs, crumb by crumb. The child did this because in a short experience of life it had seen that once you have given a piece of food no more food will come for a long time. And so the child ate crumb by crumb even though Mother Theresa assured it there was more bread. This image of the child is the image many peoples lives. They live their lives crumb by crumb. Some even of those who are rich live lives of great restriction, fear, anxiety, and worry. There is a great poverty in peoples lives. They live crumb by crumb.

Jesus in the Gospel reminds us that life is made up of little things. Many of the Popes said St Theresa, the greatest Saint of modern time. And her life was made up of little things … She too lived in France.

St Theresa tells us of one action of love which cast her a lot at the beginning. There was in our community a very old sister who suffered from Arthritis. And this sister was also very also very difficult complained continually. The sisters met every evening to pray at the cold church. Before the end of the prayer each day this old sister would ring a bell and someone would have to help her to rise, to leave the church, to walk … cold long … to the dining room. No one volunteer to do this work because of the difficulty of pleasing this sister. Theresa Volunteered. Even though she was very young girl. Theresa then describes how the bell would ring each night Theresa would come to the old sister, then she would held the sister to rise , get her stick remove her chair. As all the sisters listened the old lady complained of Theresa. And then they would along the …in the cold and in the dark.

One evening as they walked to the dining room the old sister continue to complain. Theresa heard some music in the distance. And it calls her in her imagination to see a beautiful banquet. The table will laid with every kind of nice food. The room was …and beautiful and music played. Around the table a beautiful , beautiful dresses … elegent young women. They were laughing and expecting a beautiful evening. Theresa made a contrast between these beautiful picture in her mind and the real situation as she stood beside the old sister in the cold …
And then she felt trail of joy in her heart. She was doing these for Jesus. She said she was a thousand times more happy doing what she was with the difficult old lady, that if she ware in a beautiful banquet with all these lovely dresses. There was great joy in what we do in charity.

There is great joy in doing little things well. A man speaks about traveling home in Glasgow on the bus on evening in Scotland. Before the door of the bus could close a young boy came rushing with a number of parcels in his hand to the bus. He got in, sat down some of the parcels fell around his chair. After a while the boy began to cry.
A kind man in the bus near the boy asked him why he cried. The boy said in the rush to the bus he had lost his money. This man stood up and told all the people in the bus how the boy had lost his money, then the man took off his hat and went around to everybody and all gave few cents. So there was plenty of money for the ticket for the boy and even a little left over. The man described as he looked around the bus to thank the people he saw that they were all smiling.
Yes, they were filled with joy because they had given something out of love.

All this is a call to ask priests to take the so called little things in the Ministry very serious. How wonderful it is to have the opportunity to visit their bereaved. When we visit the sick and show kindness in confession when we come to a family that experiencing difficulty. When we are there on time for the service for our people, when we speak with the people in a humble and the positive way, when we are firm and praise people we are doing wonderful work. Many of the people we remember this act of the priest for the rest of their lives. Yes, what you did the list of these little ones you did unto me.