Have you ever wondered what, and if there is any difference between a non-Christian doing works of charity and a Christian doing the same? Some people would say that there is no difference; the end result may be the same, and if one can believe that compassionate and giving support to the needy is part of our natural instincts for social survival as a human species, then belief in Christ is immaterial. But as Christians, we dare to believe that all works of charity, if of the right motivation, are acts done to Christ himself as He said “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me – Mathew 25 v40”. And He also said “Love one another, as I have loved you – John 13 v34” which commands the right motivation behind those works.
The question then, becomes whether there is a difference between a non-Christian (even a good person) doing a work of charity with the motivation of human compassion from instinct and one out of love as experienced from a relationship with Christ and for Christ?
I believe that understanding and experiencing this difference while we carry out our work as a Vincentian is a rightful reflection and challenge for each of us, because here lies our true mission of evangelization both to ourselves and to the people we serve if we are truly thus motivated – “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another – John 13 v35”.
Joseph Tsui, member of the Spiritual Committee