September 22, 2019
“Works of Love” is an adventure into what it means to love God and love our neighbor. Our belief is that these are not separate acts, but both are completely intertwined, our spirituality and our works of love.
In his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis writes: “Works of love directed to one's neighbor are the most perfect external manifestation of the internal grace of the Spirit.” What we do for our neighbor — and our neighborhood for that matter — is an expression of our faith in God and the love of Christ in our hearts. What’s happening on the outside reflects what’s happening on the inside. And vice versa.
God can be found in all things, St. Ignatius tells us in the Spiritual Exercises. Scripture tells us that God is found more readily in some places than others. “For I was hungry and you gave me food,” Jesus says, “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Matt. 25:35-36).
When we don’t know where to look, we should begin here. As we share the love of God with our neighbors — our literal neighbors, the hungry, refugees and immigrants, the homeless, etc. — we see the face of Christ.
And in the natural world God’s presence is also abundant and immanent. How we love all of God’s Creation is a matter a deep spiritual consequence. In creatures and in Creation we come to know the Creator. By our works of love, we participate in Christ’s work of redemption.
God is inviting each of us to greater works of love, to the "most perfect manifestations" of the graces we have received.