Easy and Hard!

Mark 9:41
For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.

God, said George MacDonald, is easy to please, but hard to satisfy.  There are few things easier than giving somebody a cup of water, yet such a gesture will gain you a heavenly reward, if you do it because somebody bears the name of Christ.  On the other hand, those who bear the name of Christ are not always people we are especially interested in getting to know.  How many of us have given water to the poor, the imprisoned, the despised, or the “popularly unpopular” (that is, anybody who our social circle would gasp to see us with).  It is in this “distressing disguise” says Mother Teresa, that Jesus comes to us as well.  Today, give a cup of water to somebody who bears the name of Christ.  Tomorrow, do it again.  But take the cup a little further on and give it to somebody who bears Christ’s name in difficult circumstances.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • Guest

    Thank you again, for today's words of encouragement.  I volunteered to be a volunteer catechist for a prison ministry with boys & girls last night.  My family was against it last night, but they changed their minds this morning after reading this. 

    Laura K.