This reflection was written by my husband, Jon Scherbart during his immersion trip to India with Bellarmine students this summer.
“You know the Gospels really seem to come alive here. The story of the Widow’s Mite came to my mind today -that one about the Pharisees making a big showy deal about their almsgiving to the poor. Jesus was very unimpressed and points to a poor widow dropping in a few cents and says, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more in than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”
I thought of that story because of what I saw one of the residents of the Missionaries of Charity Center do. It was the same person I talked about in my last blog entry- Manu. This is not his real name, but one they gave him when he arrived because he had been abandoned and does not speak. Remember he is severely mentally and physically disabled, and found near death only a few weeks ago. I attached a picture of him with Mr. Wolf. I had the honor of feeding him this morning. I tried yesterday, but he would have nothing of it. He would only let Mr. Wolf do it. I felt like chopped liver so I was glad that he let me today.
There were two occurrences about him that I would like to share. The first happened out in the sitting area of the center where there is a long bench. On this particular day, the bench was full. Manu was among those who were seated. Manu is so disabled due to muscular dystrophy that he cannot stand or walk, in fact I had just picked him up and put him on the bench. A friend of his came out at that point to sit, but there were no spaces. He immediately started contorting his body and slid down to the floor to make a spot for him. His friend smiled and sat down.
The second incident happened today. The men had been served some crackers for snack time. I thought they might be thirsty so I went around handing out cups of water. When I came to Manu, he stretched out his spastic arm and pointed to that same friend, motioning for me to give him the water. I complied. The friend smiled and took the water.
I am still in disbelief at what I saw. Such generosity and selflessness coming from a man who has nothing, who is severely disabled and was abandoned and near death a few weeks ago. I am humbled. I saw the heart of Jesus today. In this world of “I want” and “Me first,” I can learn a lot from Manu.”
This reflection reminds me of the importance of getting out of my comfort zone to experience God’s presence. May this story inspire you, as it did me, to look for God in difficult times and places, to put your trust in God. God will not disappoint.
Director of Catechetical Ministry
Diocese of San Jose
1150 North First Street, Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95112-4966