I listened to a homily given by a popular priest who streams his Sunday masses on YouTube. He observed that this world is currently dealing with the problem of indifference, and not because its people do not care or do not like to help their fellow men, but because they are constantly being overwhelmed by suffering. Society is bombarded by media streaming every catastrophe that occurs on this earth. The effect of this bombardment is we lose our ability to move, to take action. How can we help others when there is so much suffering everywhere?
The priest pointed out that we might need to limit our focus. He brought up Jesus as an example: His focus was always on the people right in front of Him. In fact, when Jesus lived among us, the idea of helping your neighbor actually meant you helped your own neighbor. Perhaps, instead of letting ourselves be distracted by everything affecting the whole world, we should concentrate on what is affecting our neighborhood, our family, or our friends. Jesus did this, and look what He accomplished. He saved us all.
One small act of kindness can create ripples that can truly make huge waves. As I read the first scripture for the day about Moses, I found myself wondering why God hasn’t done anything like that recently. It seems as though His people are once again in a situation similar to the Israelites in Egypt, oppressed by their government. Of course, it immediately occurred to me that if He were to part the Red Sea to save us, so to speak, would we even be able to recognize this miracle and act accordingly? With all the media to which we subject ourselves daily, would God’s saving grace be visible?
We as Catholics and Christians may crave a means to help our world, but the way we perceive its current state is causing indifference within us. We have the opportunity we crave right in front of us, in our own community, with the single mother of young children next door or the elderly couple across the street who have had their drivers’ licenses revoked. Together, we can begin to help the world with one act of kindness at a time.