Friday, February 28, 2014
...you did it for Jesus
Good evening friends,
Today's reading continues yesterday's vision of the final judgment from Matthew's Gospel. Jesus has just told his listeners that the righteous will be invited into their reward because they cared for Jesus by caring for poor and vulnerable neighbors. Today we see that the opposite is true too: those who have not cared for their poor and vulnerable neighbors will find out on the last day that they have rejected Jesus.
This is one of those passages that just feels true: how we treat people matters. It matters to us and it matters to God. The challenge is that when I picture myself at Christ's throne for judgment, I know I have sometimes taken care of those in need and I have sometimes rushed on to something else and turned away. How can we shift our lives to reflect God's calling more clearly?
41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”