What is The Works of Mercy?

Jesus speaks:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, with all the angels of heaven, He will sit upon His royal throne, and all the nations will be assembled before Him.

The King will say to those on His right:’ Come. You have My Father’s blessing! Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink. I was stranger and you welcomed Me; naked and you clothed Me. I was ill and you comforted Me, in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the just will ask Him:’Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed You or see You thirsty and give You drink? When did we welcome You away from home and clothe You in Your nakedness? When did we visit You when You were ill or in prison?’

“The King will answer them:’I assure you, as often as you did it for one of My least brothers, you did it for Me.’

“The just will go off to eternal life.”

-Matthew 25:31-40

From the Book of “The Works of Mercy” by Fr Lovasik, S.V.D

The 8 Corporal Works of Mercy

Bodily needs

The corporal works of mercy focus on the bodily needs of our neighbors. “They respond to the basic needs of humanity as we journey together through this life”

Jesus speaks: “I was hungry and you gave Me food.” -Matthew 25:35

There are many millions of people today who are very hungry because they are poor. Some children can get less than one meal a day. Our country sends them food and clothing. Many die of starvation.

Naturally, you feel sorry for them and try to help them by praying for them. But you can also collect money for them which can be sent to the Parish Priest for the church’s mission for the poor.

This is one way by which you can show God that you love your neighbour and that you are thankful of the good food your parents give you every day. Food is a gift of God and you must thank Him for it.

Jesus speaks:”I was thirsty and you gave Me drink. -Matthew 25:35

Jesus once said:”I promise that whoever gives a cup of cold water to the least of My followers because that person is My follower will certainly receive a reward. (Matthew10.42)

By these words Jesus taught us to be kind to people when they are in need. Giving a thirsty person a drink of water is kind deed and Jesus will reward it.

You can do many favours for people who need your help. There are many children in the world who are hungry and thirsty. Pray for them.

Be kind to your playmates, too. Be willing to share your food and drink with them. This is a work of mercy if you do these things for the love of Jesus as He asked you to do.

Jesus speaks:”I was naked and you clothed Me.” – Matthew 25:35

There are many poor people who need clothing. Your mother and father buy such beautiful clothes for you to wear. Do you ever think of the many children who have to wear old and torn clothes, even rags?

Why don’t you ask your mother to collect all your clothes which you hardly ever wear or which are too small for you so that you can give them to some poor child who needs them?

You can always bring used clothes to Lighthouse Thrift Shop, Kawan Thrift Shop, St Vincent de Paul Society or the collection box in your parish. Your parish priest or your teacher will tell you what to do with them. Each year in Lent and Advent, parishes have projects for the poor. Do your part to help them. 

Jesus speaks:”I was in prison and you came to visit Me.” -Matthew 25:36

There are many youths who are in juvenile detention centre due to wrongdoings. There are many men and women in prisons all over our country. You cannot visit them, but you can pray for them that they may try to live a good life by turning to God in prayer. God alone can help them to be good.

Thank God for having given you good parents and teachers to lead you on the right path. God has commanded you to be obedient to them in His 4th Commandment:”Honour your father and mother.”

Jesus speaks:”I was a stranger and you welcomed me. – Matthew 25:36

There are many poor people in the world who do not have a beautiful home like you have. How thankful you should be to God for all that your mother and father have done to make you happy! How good it is to have a nice warm home in a cold night.

Never be ashamed to bring poor children to your home. Since you have been so blessed by God, you should at least pray for those who do not have a home like yours.

Even though you cannot share your home with others, you can be kind to people everyday by helping them in small ways and trying to make them happy. If you do this for others, you do it for Jesus. He will reward you for being generous.

Jesus speaks:”I was ill and you comforted Me.” – Matthew 25:36

There are many sick people in your neighbourhood whom you can visit. You can make them very happy just by coming to talk to them for a while. They are often very lonely.

Old people also like company because they are often left alone. You can ask your mother to give you some food for them. She will be happy to see you care for others.

In this way you can be like Jesus who spent so much time healing the sick. Visit the sick and old people for the love of Jesus.

Someday you will be sick and grow old, and you will be pleased when someone comes to visit you and cheer you up. Be a friend of those who are sick and lonely, and you will be a friend of Jesus.  

Jesus speaks:”I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life. -John 11:25-26

After Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, had buried their brother, Jesus consoled them by telling them that He Himself is the Resurrection and the Life. Even though their brother died, Jesus raised him to life again.

Jesus will also console us when our loved ones die. We all shall live forever because of our faith in Jesus. But we must pray for the dead, attend their funeral when we can, and visit their grave to show that we really love them even though they are no more with us.

The Church remembers the dead by offering Holy Mass for them. She remembers the poor souls in Purgatory especially in the month of November and on All Souls Day.

Pope Francis has written a letter addressed to every person on this planet asking us all to protect the earth – our common home.

In the letter he said the earth is God’s gift to us, it is full of beauty and wonder and it belongs to everyone.

But what we see today is that our common home has never been so hurt and mistreated. We have developed at a greater speed that we could have ever imagined and have treated the earth like it has unlimited supply of resources. We have taken more than our fair share for most people on the planet as well as future generations.

We have cut down the Earth’s natural forest, polluted the Earths’s waters, its land and its air. The Earth our home is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. We are using more and more fossil fuel which is contributing to climate change. Climate change is the biggest challenges we face today. Climate change affects us all but it is the poorest communities who suffer the most. And despite these problems we are not slowing down on how much we buy and throwaway, leaving a trail of waste and destruction.

We cannot continue like this. We can change and we can make a new start. The whole human family needs to work together to care for our planet Earth so that we can so beauty not to pollution and destruction.

So let’s put our love for the world and love for our neighbour into action by living together in harmony and caring for nature. Can you take everyday simple eco actions to care for the Earth like turning off lights, reducing water waste, and recycling? Can you live more simply reducing the amount of things we buy and throwaway so that we don’t take more than our fair share. The world can’t wait so let’s make that start today and play your part to protect our common home.

-Laudato Si on Care for Our Common Home.

To Feed the Hungry

1st Corporal Work of Mercy

To Give Drink To the Thirsty

2nd Corporal Work of Mercy

To Clothe the Naked

3rd Corporal Work of Mercy

To Visit Those Who are in Prison

4th Corporal Work of Mercy

To Shelter the Homeless

5th Corporal Work of Mercy

To Visit the Sick

6th Corporal Work of Mercy

To Bury the Dead

7th Corporal Work of Mercy

To Care for Our Common Home

8th Corporal Work of Mercy

The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy

Spiritual Need

The spiritual works of mercy focus on ministering to the spiritual needs of our neighbors. 

Jesus speaks:”There will be joy among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” -Luke15:10

Jesus Christ came into the world as God made man, to be its Saviour and Redeemer. God so loved sinners that He gave His Son to make peace between God and all people by His death on the Cross. Jesus often spoke to sinners to help them give up their evil ways.

If Jesus loved sinners so much, you should try to help them by your prayers and sacrifices. You can also speak kindly to our children when you see they are doing wrong. 

Reuben hit Aaron with a bat. Aaron was not angry, but he told Reuben not to fight anymore.

Jesus speaks:”Your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father.”

Jesus teaches us that the best way to instruct the ignorant is to give them a good example. A good deed is like light which shines in the minds of people and makes them want to do good and stay away from evil.

Linda stopped her friend Jason when she saw him ridding his bicycle instead of going to Mass on Sunday. Linda told him that it was a great sin against God not to go to church on Sunday or Saturday evening.

Jason did not think it was too bad to miss Mass. He remembered Linda’s words and never missed Mass again. The light of Linda’s good example helped Jason to do what was right.

Jesus speaks:”If you wish to enter into life, keep the Commandments.” -Matthew 19:17

A man once came to Jesus and said:”Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life.” Jesus told him to obey the Commandments of God: to love God and his neighbour. The man was not sure what he had to do till Jesus showed him the right way to reach heaven.

It was Sunday. Daniel’s parents were out of town visiting friends. He asked his sister, Annie, whether it would be wrong for him to mow the lawn to get some exercise instead of playing ball with his friends.

Annie told him that it would be all right. Daniel was then able to get his exercise with a clear conscience.

Jesus speaks:” Come to Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.” -Matthew 11:28

Jesus tells us that He will comfort us when we are sorrowful if only we come to Him asking for His help in prayer. Many things can happen in your life that can make you sad. Go to Jesus, your best friend, and He will give you peace and joy. He will help you to be patient when you have something to suffer.

Be like Jesus. Try to cheer your friends up when they are sad.

Serena tried to comfort her sister when she dropped her ice cream cone. Serena even offered Rachel her own cone. Rachel stopped crying and was glad to share the cone with Serena.

Jesus speaks:”My command to you is:’love your enemies, pray for your persecutors.'”. -Matthew 5:44

Jesus teaches us to be patient  when others hurt us, and even to pray for them. We cannot always like our enemies, but we must love them for the love of God.

One day Alvinus was so angry that he smashed Rina’s baby buggy. Rina was hurt, but she did not get angry at Alvinus. She told him that they would still be friends and that her Daddy would fix the broken buggy.

Rina did not like Alvinus for what he did, but she tried to love him because she knew that this is what Jesus wanted her to do. She bore this wrong patiently. Try to do the same when someone hurts you.

Jesus said:”Treat others the way you would have them treat you.”

Jesus speaks:”If you forgive the faults of others, your Heavenly Father will forgive you yours. If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you.” -Matthew6:14

Jesus taught us to pray:”Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” You say this prayer every day when you say the “Our Father.”

How can you expect the Heavenly Father to forgive your sins if you do not want to forgive others when they hurt you?

Charles and Mercelin got into a fight and were calling each other bad banes because they were very angry at each other. John separated them and told them to shake hands and make up. They did. They became friends because they were willing to forgive each other. 

Jesus speaks:”Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. For the one who asks, receives. The one who seeks, finds. The one who knocks, enters.

God is our Heavenly Father. He loves us as His children and wants to give us everything we need for our soul and body. But He wants us to ask for it.

Pray for your mother and father, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and for all who are in need of God’s help, that they may reach heaven someday.

Pray also for those who have died, especially for your family, relatives and friends. If they are in Purgatory, your prayers will help them to see God in heaven. The best way to help them is by offering Holy Mass for them and say rosary prayer everyday.


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