“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” a popular slogan a few years back, challenged our culture in which what we do, and how we do it, is carefully calculated to help us get ahead and get noticed. In our world, stopping to perform a small kindness can knock us off schedule; reputations and resumes aren’t enhanced by random, unrecognized deeds.
Consider, however, what Jesus did in today’s gospel. He saw a pool full of sick, needy, diseased people. As far as the world was concerned, they had nothing of much value to offer. Nevertheless, even though he was busy, Jesus stopped, healed a disabled person, then vanished into the crowd before others made a big deal about it.
Why did Jesus do this? First of all, because he could. Likewise, each and every one of us, with our time, talent, and treasure, is able to do a lot. Perhaps more than we often realize.
Second, Jesus did what he did because he is humble. It would have been easy for him to have drawn attention to himself by his miracle. Yet Jesus acted discretely, and without fanfare.
Third, Jesus did what he did purely out of love, because there was nothing to gain in return for healing this man. Jesus didn’t even receive a “Thank you” for his efforts; the man he healed didn’t even know Jesus’ name.
Our Lord invites us today to follow his example by making random acts of kindness with humility, and out of love, just because we can.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/040511.shtml