Christ is reaching to us with the hand of the Poor.

Thus ought we ever to exercise hospitality by our own personal exertions, that we may be sanctified, and our hands be blessed. And if you give to the poor, disdain not yourself to give it, for it is not to the poor that it is given, but to Christ; and who is so wretched, as to disdain to stretch out his own hand to Christ? This is hospitality, this is truly to do it for God’s sake. — St. John Chrysostom, quoted in [Confronting Poverty and Stigmatization: An Orthodox Perspective].

“Those who cannot see the face of Christ in the poor are atheists indeed.” – Dorothy Day [source]

“So by looking at fasting and our relationship to food, we may get a sense of what it is like for most of the world’s population; it also moves us towards doing some things about hunger. Seeing things as they are includes coming to terms with the suffering of our neighbors. Because if we spend less on our stomachs, if we slow down our lifestyles to support a lighter diet, then we have more time to spend on helping our neighbor, both with our time and with our financial resources. I want to stress that the best way to give, is to give of ourselves. As Orthodox we believe in the inherent value of persons. I liked what Father said a couple weeks ago about saying hello to a person on the streets. So often we avert our eyes, we get scared. After all, “He might push me beyond my comfort zone.” “He may ask me for something.” “She may want something I don’t want to give.” “What if I get embarrassed?” “Is that person really poor?” “What if he hurts me?” Seeing the face of Christ in the poor takes time; it’s a gift—but it’s also a muscle that develops through the ins and outs of service.” – [source]

A landed peasant called Nalga saw [St. Walstan] and, in need of a labourer, offered Walstan work. The latter agreed. Walstan soon gained a reputation for hard work and piety and also developed an affinity with the poor and was charitable in the extreme, giving both his food and clothing to those less fortunate than himself. Often he would carry out his work barefoot, having given away even his shoes. Nalga’s wife, seeing him thus, once gave him new shoes and extra food. Within a short time Walstan had given all away to two passing beggars, one of them barefoot. When Nalga and his wife heard this, they were angry with him, but Walstan answered that the men had been sent providentially by God to find out whether he, Walstan, loved God more than himself: ‘I shod Christ in the poor man’, he said. The wife sneered at this and ordered Walstan to take a cart to the forest to fetch a load of briars, treading the thorns well down with his unshod feet. Miraculously, Walstan appeared to be treading on rose leaves and the thorns, as soft as petals ever were, gave out a sweet fragrance. Seeing this, Nalga and his wife fell at Walstan’s feet and begged forgiveness. Thus did Walstan ‘forsake all’ to be the Lord’s disciple and win ‘a crown of thorns’. -[source]

Christ became an orphan for our sakes: “Who are my mother and my brothers?”, “Lord, Lord, why has Thou forsaken me?” – from [here]

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