Gospel – March 2 – Matthew 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 these 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.”
We live in a country where even our “poor” live like the wealthy in some of the countries and societies around the world. It has a tendency to make us – as a people, as a culture – inured to what is actually happening around the world to the truly disenfranchised and marginalized.
And it isn’t just the rich – like the wealthy man passing Lazarus at the entry to his home. No, it is anyone who has less than us.
Not everyone is oblivious. Jesus today tells us that those who reach out to those less fortunate will have a place in Heaven. But woe to those who hoard their belongings and hold onto to their wealth like they can take it with them.
We cannot store up wealth for ourselves here and be justified in the end. All that we see – all that we touch – is passing away.
Give freely of yourself. Only the good we do for others will continue on from generation to generation.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…