Helping one another

We’re all connected like members of one body. If one member is weaker, the other takes over. This is the simple, but striking gospel logic that Chiara Lubich presents to us in the following text, which is more relevant today than ever

In a hospital ward I once saw a man with a plaster cast. His chest and right arm were immobilized. With his left hand he tried to do everything… as best he could. The cast was extremely uncomfortable, but his left arm, although it was more tired than usual by the end of the day, grew stronger by doing twice its normal work.

We are members of one another and mutual service is our duty. Jesus did not merely advise us to serve one another, he commanded us to do so.

When we help someone out of charity, let us not believe we are saints. If our neighbour is powerless, we must help them and do so as they would help themself if they could. Otherwise, what kind of Christians are we?

If, in future, when our turn has come and we need our neighbour’s charity, let us not feel humiliated.

At the last judgement we shall hear Jesus repeat the words: ‘I was sick and you visited me … I was in prison…, I was naked…, I was hungry…[1]”. Jesus likes to hide precisely in those who are suffering and needy.

Therefore at those times too, we should be conscious of our dignity, and with our whole heart thank the person who is helping us. But let us reserve our deepest gratitude for God who created the human heart to be charitable, and for Christ who, by proclaiming with his blood the Good News, and especially ‘his’ commandment, has spurred on countless hearts to help one another.

 Chiara Lubich

Based on “I was sick”, in Meditations, by Chiara Lubich, New City London-Dublin 2005, p. 54

[1] Matt. 25:36


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