We see brokenness in our world all the time; there’s no doubt about it. And most everyone desires to help someone in some way, whether we are Catholic, Lutheran, Christian, or anything else. We search for the greatest need and say, “There is where I want to give back.” Philosophers, teachers, rabbis, preachers, monks and nuns, inspirational speakers–all of them have offered their own insight to the world’s greatest need by how they dedicate their life. For example:
“The world’s greatest need is the personal holiness of Christian people.” – JJ Packer
“The greatest need is not to try harder. Our greatest need is a new heart.” – David Platt
“The greatest need in the world today is faith in God and courage to do His will.” – David O. McKay
“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds.” – Thomas Merton
I believe all of us can identify with each of these quotes, that they all have some semblance or moment of truth of figuring out what is, in fact, the greatest need. But to quote one of the most quotable humans of all time: “But I shall show you a still more excellent way.”
I would say the greatest need of our world is people committed to an unconditional outpouring of love…to anyone! Not only the physically vulnerable (like the elderly, the preborn, or the sick and suffering), those struggling with a habitual sin or an addiction, or those in poverty or the victims of violence and abuse.
No, I would argue that even those who seem to be “fine” need to be shown love daily, and that this solves our greatest need: to love and pray for every person we meet on a regular basis with the same strength and fervor we love and pray for the marginalized who we may not encounter daily (see the above examples).
By our repetition of sharing love unconditionally–no matter if we think they deserve it more or not–they create virtuous habits which will incline us more regularly to love on those who “need it most” when we encounter them face to face.
Besides, we’ve all heard it before, you never know what is going on behind the scenes in anyone’s life. Your love to them in that moment could be Christ in just the way they needed to see Him.
St. Catherine of Sienna said, “Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world ablaze.”
Unconditional lovers: that is who we were created to be.
Are you ready to set the world on fire?
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