At the word of a priest, that little piece of bread becomes the body of Christ, the Bread of Life. Then you give this living Bread to us, so that we too might live and become holy, but we also need you to satisfy our hunger for Jesus by teaching us holiness. To do this, though, you must first be holy yourselves, because you cannot give what you do not have. This is why the days of this retreat are such a tremendous gift from God, not only for you, but even more so for all of us who will be enriched by everything you are receiving. Share with us what you receive. We and our people are hungry for God, hungry for holiness. I have seen this same hunger even among Hindus and Muslims.
Do you know that I receive much more from the street people than I have ever given them? I have learned so much by seeing how they long for God. I have also learned from them how to love Jesus by sharing his passion. One day they brought to our home a man with half his body eaten away. Worms crawled all over him, and the stench was so terrible that no one could stand to come near him. So I went to clean him, and as I was doing so he looked at me and asked, “Why are you bothering to do this? Everyone else just throws me aside. Why do you come near, and bother to help me?” “I love you,” I said. “I love you because Jesus is sharing His passion with you. For me you are Jesus coming in this painful disguise.” Then he looked up, and said to me, “But by coming near me, and doing what you are doing, you too are sharing His passion.” “No,” I answered, “I am only sharing the joy of loving you, and loving Jesus in you.” Then what did this Hindu gentleman say to me? He just said, “Glory be to Jesus Christ,” without adding a single word of complaint or cry of pain, as those large worms continued to eat into his body. He realized that he was someone of significance, someone loved.
You may use whatever words you prefer: hunger for love, hunger for compassion, hunger for holiness, hunger for God. This is the hunger I am talking about and see in all these people. We try to make good use of their great sufferings, asking and teaching them to offer everything for peace in the world. Again I say that we receive more than we give, because these wonderful people give us an opportunity to be with the suffering Christ 24 hours a day. Jesus himself told us that, “As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me” (Mt. 25:40). If He said this, it must be true