Works of Mercy Reflections

Works of Mercy are inspired by Christ’s example and precept that we are to do to others as we would have them do to us.

The corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, and bury the dead. Six of these come from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25: “What you do for the least of these, you do for me.”, and the seventh from traditional Hebrew respect for the body.

The spiritual works of mercy: admonish the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrongs patiently, forgive all injuries, and pray for the living and the dead. These teachings from the New Testament and 2 Maccabees in Hebrew scripture were compiled later than the first to address “spiritual” acts we owe each other as opposed to “temporal” (worldly) needs.

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