Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Little Bits of Heaven

“See, upon the mountain there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace!” Nahum 2: 1a

There is an American priest from Philadelphia who has been working in the slums of Haiti since 1996. His name is Fr. Tom Hagen. I had the privilege of hearing Fr. Tom speak at St. Patrick Parish in Malvern, PA on Sunday, June 20, 2010. In his homily, he kept saying that we all have the ability to be a little bit of heaven or a little bit of hell to each person we come into contact with each day. Let’s reflect on this a bit more today.

Obviously we are called to be little bits of HEAVEN. So what does this mean? How does this play out in the “real world”? I think it is pretty simply. We live each day with purpose and resolve that everyone who leaves our presence will be filled with the Good News of Christ. For some it will be our smile. Perhaps for another it will be our encouraging words. For a young person it might mean cleaning your room or doing another chore promptly when asked by your parent (or even without being asked). It might mean letting someone in during traffic, or lifting the spirits of a cashier while getting your groceries. It certainly means treating others with kindness, no matter how they treat you. And in most instances, I think it means to heed the words of St. Francis to “preach the Gospel boldly, using words only when necessary.”

And how can we be little bits of hell to others? We already know this in our hearts: belittling others, gossiping, being unkind, being arrogant and impatient and overlooking people. We also do it by trampling on someone else’s dignity, yelling at them or even thinking others are stupid. The sad reality is that our world has even influenced Christians to be cynical and uncompassionate. When we treat others without the love God has for them, then we bring a little bit of hell into the world.

A little bit of heaven. A little bit of hell. Which will you be today?

Dear Jesus, please help me to love as You love. Help me to have the grace to spread the Good News and be a little bit of heaven to everyone I encounter today. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said. It really gets you thinking about what we've done and reflect on that to see what we should be doing instead.