“Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
We go about our daily activities in the manner we see pleasing to us, failing to come to the realization of the truth the Gospel of today (Matthew 25:31-46) reveals: that one day, an account will be demanded of us of how we lived our lives here on earth. If only we had this in our minds everyday how careful will we be in the way we lived. Jesus Christ today separates the sheep from the goats. And who are these sheep: “those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed a stranger, clothed the naked, cared for the sick and comforted the imprisoned”- those who carried out the Corporal Works of mercy with a free mind and loving heart. It’s amazing that the sheep didn’t even know that they were sheep for they asked;
“Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” (Matthew 25:37)
This is because they made these works of mercy and acts of charity a norm in their lives, a way of their life. In the end, nothing would be more important than living life immersed in good works. Our judgement won’t be based on the earthly possessions we have or our fame or even how religious we have made ourselves; the criterion of Christ’s judgement on us will be love: how much we loved and cared for others especially the less privileged who Our Lord Jesus Christ calls ‘his brethren’. The goats probably carried out these Corporal Works of mercy too, for they were surprised and asked Jesus;
“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?” (Matthew 25: 44)
But they didn’t do it to the less privileged; and if they did, definitely not with love. It was done to attract vain glory and self praise, for recognition from people for a deed well done. And thus they found themselves on the wrong side in the end.
We are called to take heed to our Lord’s words because they are Spirit and Life. Let us not forget the reason to why we are here on earth: to live a life worthy of heaven. May we spend our time, treasure and talents in love alleviating the needs of less privileged in our society and helping our brothers and sisters so that we may be counted as sheep in the end.