“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
1 Corinthians 1:27
“For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
I just finished watching a film documentary called “Footprints: The Path of Your Life”. It’s about 10 men from an Arizona parish who travel to Spain to walk the 500 mile pilgrimage of Camino de Santiago, or The Way of St. James.
After a pretty rough start, the men come to realize that they will only complete the entire pilgrimage together if they stick together and support one another each step of the way. Needless to say, the joy they experience in the Lord is palpable when they reach their destination – together.
I realized then that life is not a destination but a journey; for God Himself is our destination and He meets us all along the way in each other. So how we journey together reveals who we are and determines what we shall become as individuals and as communities of faith.
I have thought a thousand times that I would be happier to leave behind the weakest in the hopes of surging ahead in life, not understanding at all that in doing so I only diminish myself. To believe in any way that I am somehow greater than another is to be nothing – worthless! Because if the kingdom of God belongs to the least of these, then to attempt to leave them behind is to turn my back on the kingdom of God and the King Himself. Isn’t that sin? To put God behind me?
A good friend of mine, one of the strongest among us and a traveling companion, recently fell and is unable to continue the journey. I find myself stopped dead in my tracks. She has become one of the least of these, yet I would rather carry her on my back then continue on without her. I would rather wait with her by the side of the road then finish without her.
This is the way of Christ: stopping for the one. For while sin is essentially selfish, love is completely generous. To leave our life of sin is to leave selfishness behind, because life with God is a journey of communion – and this is everything. To be one with God and one with each other is the way of Christ. To stop to love and encourage people on the journey is to love Jesus Himself. It is to understand that joy comes when we all see His face together.
And God wants us to see His face. He is everywhere, in every face we see; but especially in the least of these. All are beloved. All are created in His image.
I repent! I repent. I turn around and see those I have left behind. They are standing with The King.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.’”