Frequently, I have people say to me, “Pastor, I am no longer going to watch the news. It is too negative and it makes me feel sad and mad.” As we have all heard, “Bad news sells.” But, there are people in this world who demonstrate what Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
Good deeds and the likeness of God
I recently heard what happened this last November in an article from the Boston Herald. John Fitzmaurice, a 68 year-old service veteran, died on the streets of Boston — homeless, alone, and forgotten. With no relative to claim his body, it appeared that he would be interred just as he lived the final years of his life.
Burial with honor for a veteran
However, when students at Catholic Memorial High School learned that no one would attend John’s burial, they decided he deserved better. And so they arranged a funeral service and mass in the school chapel to honor this man who had served our country so many years before.
Students served as pall-bearers and escorted John’s flag-draped coffin to the hearse as taps was played.
School President Dr. Peter Folan said, “Paying homage to a veteran, to bring him to our campus, to provide the burial right he deserves, honor his legacy, and to help our boys realize that we have to stand with those that are marginalized, those that are poor, those that many in our community cast out.”
Education takes many forms. I dare say those students would not forget that day. They lived out the Biblical challenge of honoring the dignity of every person, because all of us bear the image and likeness of God. That day, Catholic Memorial High School honored the image of God as reflected in this homeless man. That same day, we saw the likeness of God in the actions of the students.
How do I honor the image of God in every person I meet? How am I demonstrating the likeness of God as I serve my sisters and brothers with compassion?