The Corporal Works of Mercy

Today’s readings


Today’s readings present us with two lists: A list of “don’ts” from Leviticus, and a list of “dos” from Matthew. The Gospel focuses on what we call the “Corporal Works of Mercy:”

(1) Feed the hungry.
(2) Give drink to the thirsty.
(3) Clothe the naked.
(4) Shelter the homeless.
(5) Visit those in prison.
(6) Comfort the sick.
(7) Bury the dead.

These works of kindness and compassion to the suffering are the foundation of that famous Catholic sense of charity, true faith in action. Those who correctly see the Lord in the least of His people, perform those acts, and are rewarded with eternal life, Jesus says. They are works of mercy because the person enacting them chooses to be compassionate over allowing the receiver to continue to suffer.

The Handbook for Serrans Called to Holiness states:

The corporal works of mercy that Serrans should focus on are: visiting sick priests and helping them in whatever ways needed and providing financial assistance to seminaries, priests or seminarians in need.


Reflection Questions:

This Lent, do you have plans to perform the Corporal Works of Mercy?

Does your club have special plans in place to minister specifically to sick or needy priests, seminarians, sisters, or others in religious life?

How can this become a regular part of your daily life?