“…humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.”
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey…they were all an afterthought to me. More than anything else on this trip to London, I wanted to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral and sit at her steps. Those who remember my homily during the Feast of the Holy Family last December will know why (http://fathermanny.blogspot.com/2013/12/saving-father.html). The song “Feed the Birds” takes place there. Alas there was no Bird Woman. There weren’t many birds either, but the steps and that giant, iconic dome that survived the Blitz in the war still spoke to me as the song does. The little things, the small acts of charity, looking out not for my own interests, but as St. Paul writes in the second reading, looking out for the interests of others: those are the lessons from that song and of the steps of St. Paul’s.
In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds us again that the less favored ones in society are the ones that will enter the kingdom of God before the so-called righteous ones of the earth. I didn’t have much time to sit and reflect on those steps, but when I was in my room that evening looking over the pictures I took, I started thinking of the less favored among us: the poor, the sick, the homeless, the immigrant, the old, the depressed, the unborn, the forgotten. These are the ones that we must humbly regard as more important than ourselves. These are the ones we have to feed, shelter, visit and remember. Small acts of charity to the least in God’s kingdom can go a long way. Something as simple as a phone call, a card, a visit, a smile can maybe remind someone how much God loves them and how much we love them. So while I enjoyed seeing the great monuments in the city of London, it was the simplicity of the steps of St. Paul’s that moved me the most because of what they symbolize to me: simple charity goes a long way. As Blessed Mother Teresa reminds us: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”