Living the Christian Way
Healing Our Neighbor through Practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy
These are the seven corporal works of mercy and their meaning to our everyday lives.
If you believe what you like in the Gospels,
and reject what you don’t like, it is not
the gospel you believe, but yourself.
– Augustine of Hippo
Are you willing to sacrifice your time and effort for those who need your help?
Well, you have not truly proven yourself as a faithful Christian unless you’ve done an exemplary work of generosity. These are works of charity that involve action, which is more daunting and demanding. Yet if your heart is merciful and compassionate enough, you do not only help others but you also help yourself to become a better person and follower of Christ.
What are the corporal works of mercy? These are benevolent works that are echoed in the gospel of Matthew that reads, “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me. I was in prison and you visited Me” (Matthew 25:33-36).
Below are the seven corporal acts of mercy that every Christian should practice, not only today, but every day as you thank the Lord.
- To feed the hungry.
Care for others is a work of charity that merits an individual as worthy of God’s salvation. To feed the hungry is to feed your soul with goodness.
- To give drink to the thirsty.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Everyone needs to quench their thirst, either spiritually or physically. Be a generous fellow who gives fresh water to those who are deprived of it. Join and donate in charities that will help those who are in drought regions.
- To clothe the naked.
A good Samaritan helps those who have no clothes for their bodily protection. Give the homeless people—you meet them every day—something they can use when it’s warm or cold. What’s important is you share what you have, and you share it willingly.
- To visit the imprisoned.
The prisoners are much more alike to us—they have sinned but need forgiveness. They are still made in the image and likeness of God, no matter what they have done. They also deserve to be touched by God’s divine wisdom. Volunteer to help charities to those who are in prison. Give them the chance to hear the word of God, and give them the moment to pray and repent from the sins they’ve committed.
- To shelter the homeless.
There are homeless people everywhere—those who are left alone and poor are also our neighbors. Do not hesitate to support them and give them enough room for shelter, or food when they are hungry.
- To visit the sick.
“Come to me you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Just as the Son of God gave comfort to those who were sick, as Christians, you should also give support to ill people, even if they are your enemies. Visit someone who is sick at home, or the elderly who are already forgotten.
- To bury the dead.
The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Respect the dead bodies and treat them as the humble abode of your soul. Show some respect to the funerals and wakes through attending. Visit your loved ones who are now already in heaven and pray to them as always so they may rest in eternal peace.