DEAR my friends,
Here is the Gospel for us today according to St. Mathew 25:31-46.
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, we read from the Gospel the lesson of separating goats and sheep at the end of the day. The parable of the goats and sheep has a similar endpoint with the parable of the rich man who refuses to give any help to the poor man Lazarus who begs daily at the rich man’s doorstep (Luke 16:19-31). It emphasizes the great chasm and wall of separation between the former rich man hold now bound as a poor and miserable prisoner in hell and Lazarus clothes in royal garments feasting at God’s banquet table in heaven.
In the Gospel, Jesus Christ identifies Himself with the poor who is hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, ill and in prison. What we have done for Him?
We remember the story of Martin of Tours (316-397 AD). When he meet a poor beggar on the road who has no clothes to warm himself in the freezing cold, Martin take pity on him. He immediately gets off his horse and cuts his cloak in two and then gives half to the stranger.
In the night Martin dreams he see a vision of Jesus Christ in heaven robs in a torn cloak just like the one he gives away that day to the beggar. One of the angels next to Jesus asks, “Master, why do you wear that battered cloak?” Jesus replies, “My servant Martin has given it to me.”
Martin’s disciple and biographer Sulpicius Severus states that as a consequence of this vision “Martin flew to be baptized” to be united with Jesus and the members of His body, the body of Christ on earth and the communion of angels and saints in heaven.
On the day of judgment, when the Lord Jesus Christ comes again as Judge and Ruler over all, He will ask each one of us face to face: do you love me and my Father in heaven above all else and do you love your neighbor as yourself? What you do not do for one of these least ones, you do not do for Me; and what you do for one of these least ones, you do it for Me. It’s so simple; but how often do we forget it.
The day of God’s judgment will disclose which kind of love we chose in this present life in the world. A holy unselfish love directs to God and to the welfare of our neighbor.
In Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist, we learn to entrust our lives into the hands of the merciful Savior who gives His life for us. We ask Him to make our faith and courage strong, our trust and hope secure, and our love and compassion overflowing with joy based on our love and care for the poor who is hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, ill and in prison. What we have done for him we have done it for Him as well.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, be the Master and Ruler of our lives. May Your love rule in our hearts that we may only think, act, and speak with charity and good will for all, especially for the poor, now and forever. Amen