The thing is, it’s easy to imagine yourself doing great works of mercy. It’s easy to have good intentions. What’s difficult is the follow-through, because God didn’t challenge us to commit to the corporal works of mercy for a few days. God challenges us to commit to a lifestyle—and a lifetime—of mercy. And that’s not easy, because maybe in the end, the corporal works of mercy—feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless and others—aren’t things that can be completed the way one can finish playing a board game or painting a picture. Each act is not an isolated incident, but a part of a process, akin to sweeping the floor. You have to do it regularly or things begin to get messy. They must become habits without becoming mindless. Ultimately, the works of mercy point us toward ways in which we can build God’s reign on earth.
Read the rest of Kerry Weber’s reflection, “Making Room.” Kerry is managing editor at America and author of Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job.