Today’s Gospel is an exhortation to live a life of service.
We have a wonderful opportunity to serve God through the service of others. Yes, the service of those who we know, but also those we do not know – whom we do not like, even. That part is challenging to us.
Any old fool can serve those whom they like, those closest to them. But people who are not in our segment, not in our social circle: serving them in the name of God throws up real and sometimes painful challenges. Here us the great challenge.
So, it is a wonderful, grace filled opportunity, but also may be one of the most difficult things we have ever done.
Jesus is talking about how the righteous treated strangers, prisoners, the poor. Maybe we have little dealings with these people. But through reaching out to help those who genuinely need it, we have the capacity to change people’s lives.
We change their lives through service to God. And in our reaching out, God is reaching out to them, and through them back to us. How can we pass up this great opportunity?
And what are we going to do to develop that place of God in our hearts?
The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 25:31-46
Glory to you, O Lord
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right hand,
“Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink;
I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me,
sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”
Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?”
And the King will answer,
“I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
Next he will say to those on his left hand,
“Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.”
Then it will be their turn to ask,
“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer,
“I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”
And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.