A Cup of a Cold Water
“And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.” (Mathew 10)
A cup of cold water can be life giving. How simple it is, how essential it is, how often it is overlooked.
When we see the magnitude of needs that are present in the world today, we might feel overwhelmed and think, “The need is so big and I am so small that what I do cannot possibly make a difference” or “I’m sure someone else will help or someone else is more qualified.” Both of these thoughts lead us to inaction. Rather than doing something, which was our original intent, we end up doing nothing. Somehow, we fail to act on our good intention.
Something simple is important to the one who receives it.
Recall the story of the Starfish…
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!” adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
Simple is essential. Caring for neighbor, one neighbor at a time is how we live out the Gospel message.
A cup of cold water, a face mask, respecting physical distancing, staying home when you are sick… a simple gestures of love and charity directed towards your sisters and brothers.