The poor and the hungry do not need our charity. They need, and they deserve, justice. Every hungry person, every poor person we meet offers us the opportunity to reflect the love of Christ.
We live in a world that has grown much colder and much darker. Reaching our in mercy and compassion to the poor shines the light of hope for our society. The “least of these among us” offer us redemption. All we have to do is take it.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” ~Buddha
The only question that remains is what do we do with the truth once it reveals itself. A vast number of our fellow citizens seem to prefer the alternative, and would much rather live in a land of lies.
The Buddha always told his disciples not to waste their time and energy in metaphysical speculation. Whenever he was asked a metaphysical question, he remained silent. Instead, he directed his disciples toward practical efforts…He once said, “Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take the arrow out immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first.” Life is so short. It must not be spent in endless metaphysical speculation that does not bring us any closer to the truth. – Thich Nhat Hanh
How much time do we waste every day that could be used in helping change the world into a place where love reigns and justice flows like a mighty stream? Thich Nhat Hanh points out a universal truth. There are times when our endless questions cause far great harm than we can imagine.
We are surrounded by those struck by the poisoned arrows of oppression, poverty and hunger. First let’s remove the arrows. Then we can find those responsible.
As Shakespeare wrote, “Action is eloquence.” Make today an eloquent day. Take action on behalf of one of our family that needs your help to survive.
“A Buddha is not the one who sits quietly in a remote world of enlightenment. A Buddha is one who never ceases to take on challenges, who goes among those who are suffering and sweats and toils for their happiness.” — President Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai International
I would just add that a Christian is not one who claims to follow Jesus Christ but does not love those around herself or himself as Christ loves. True spirituality, regardless of the faith tradition we choose to follow, requires a lifestyle of obedience to the teachings of our faith. For Christians that means reaching out to the poor, the hungry and the oppressed wherever, whenever, and however we can.
Ikeda is absolutely correct. If we are not “going among those who are suffering,” the depth of our discipleship must be questioned. Faithfulness demands that our actions demonstrate what we say we believe. The things we do and the way we live says who we really are and what we truly believe.
Belief not translated into action is not belief. What does your life show that you believe?