By Fr. Mike Boutin - June 1, 2009
The bread in your box belongs to the hungry; the cloak in your closet belongs to the naked; the shoes you do not wear belong to the barefoot; the money in your vault belongs to the destitute . . . -- St. Basil the Great
This morning, God told me that he would come by and visit me, so I put on some fresh coffee and waited by the door for Him. An hour later, a knock at the door woke me from my nap. It was a poor old Iraqi woman begging for food. I quickly gave her a bite to eat so that I could get rid of her and not miss God when He would stop by...
I looked out the window, hoping I would see Him...but instead, all I saw was a confused and obviously inebriated homeless person standing on the corner, asking passersbys to give him their spare change for a "meal." "He's in my way," I thought. "I won't see God when He passes by..."
Finally, I went out and sat on my stoop so that I could properly welcome God when He should arrive....instead, what greeted me outside was a group of street kids...playing their loud music....wearing their crazy clothes....and bothering everyone, especially me.
My day ended. God never showed up....or did She?
(story based on an old Russian folk tale)
God comes to us, as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, "in distressing disguise:" in the poor, the alienated, the lonely, the despairing...in teenagers, and the elderly, and the mentally challenged....and in your spouse and your enemy too...God calls out for all the untold hungry and poor for your time, and your love, and your charity...