A Call to Action

I cannot count the number of times I have heard this reading referenced or read to me in my life. Raised in Catholic schools my whole life, this reading was used so often in our lessons to help us to understand that Jesus can be found anywhere, but more often than not in the areas where we are least likely to look.

As I reflect on readings that I have heard so often, like this one, I can see how my definition and thoughts have changed over time. When I was younger, this reading was used to inspire to give to those we saw as less fortunate, and as we aged schools, like Jesuit, taught us to see beyond the fact that people may be homeless, sick, or dying. They taught us to look at what society as deemed as “unwanted” and to open our hearts to them as people - and always with this reading in the back of our mind as a reminder that this is what Jesus called us to do.

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash
Now, even older and balder, my reflection on this reading gets even broader to what I hope our Lord really meant when sharing this story with the Apostles. No longer to I read this and think “if I help that specific homeless man at 635 and Midway … he might be Jesus”, but now see that Jesus was calling us to action. Throughout His ministry Jesus was not scared of those society told Him He should be. Jesus acted. In this reading, I feel like that is truly what he is calling us to do - to not just recognize issues in our society with our fellow man but dive deeper and find root causes and TAKE ACTION to help those we find in any kind of need.

My personal struggle with this calling is that I always find myself wanting to “fix” a problem. And if I am in a situation where I do not think that is possible, I can shut down or shy away from helping. Sometimes we cannot fix the problem. Sometimes we are just there to help in any way we can. Much like how Simon helped the Lord with His Cross, we are sometimes called to just lend a helping hand even if just for a short while. It can be hard to deal with that after a day of helping someone they, as well as you, return to your lives. They return to their struggles. And this leads us to lose sight of how much joy and help we may have provided in our short interactions. Sometimes, however, those small moments make all of the difference. Those moments can even save lives.

I did not realize it until recently, but even since I was younger there has been a common theme with this reading in my life. Whether I was younger or older the theme always encompassed being called to action, and not sitting on the sidelines.

Author: Matt Upton, Math Department, Head Rugby Coach


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