God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Cup Of Water In My Name

Monsignor Reynold Hillenbrand
1904 – 1979

In the Major Seminary, back in 1943, our Rector, Monsignor Reynold Hillenbrand, told us seminarians a story I was never to forget.  By the way, this priest was to lift my ideals for the Priesthood as no other priest ever did.  The man, although dead many years, still influences my thinking and decision making with his life style and belief in the power of prayer.  Who says that we don’t affect each other?

His story told of a time when he was studying Theology in Rome in 1926.  On a visit to a Roman Museum of art, he saw a charcoal painting of a miserably clothed beggar sitting at the magnificent doors of a great Cathedral, his hand outstretched in a pleading way to the people visiting the Church.  Behind this unfortunate man, knelt Christ with His Hand directly underneath the poor man’s hand.  The hands of Christ and the mendicant appeared as one, so closely had the artist painted them.

The Rector emphasized the point that any money given to the one begging was really going into the Hands of Christ.

“Whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these lowly ones in My Name will not want his reward.”

When I was assigned to Our Lady of the Snows Parish by Midway, I came to make a person out of the Poor Box located at the front doors of the Church.  The unforgettable story told above helped me to see Christ there with His hand outstretched.  How could I pass Him by without putting something in His pierced palm?

In all my travels, I have allocated some money each day for those in need along the way.  I have never been short of money on any trip.  To give in the Name of Jesus will insure the followers of Christ of a pleasing welcome from the Lord of the poor and homeless.

Our giving to those who ask with outstretched hand need not be large sums, but just something given for the love of Christ.  The givers will never be short of money themselves.  John Denver once said, “If your family had the last loaf of bread in the world, your giving half of that loaf to others would increase your family’s chances of survival.”  I believe this!


Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 1, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Fr. George,

    Thank you for another beautiful posting. This is something that I do struggle with becuase there are so many people I pass along my route to work, how can I possibly help them all? Then I struggle with the idea that they will go and buy alcohol or drugs with it, so do I want to help with that? I have bought sandwiches for the beggars before because at least that is a way to help them, but I must admit that I do not do that very often.

    I saw a wonderful story of a young child (maybe 9 or 10), a girl, who wanted to help the homeless and so her school class made a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then she went, with an adult, to the park where they all congregate and she was on TV giving out the sandwiches to the homeless. It made me think, I could do that, i could make sandwiches at home and pass them out on the way to work. Your words have inspired me to follow thru on this idea!

    God Bless You, Fr. George! I hope you are staying cool in this heat wave out there. We are now 56 degrees with a high of 69 today!


    Comment by Nancy Westvang | July 2, 2012 | Reply

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