"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife and Olinda, Brazil (Know as the Bishop of the slums)
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."
What is it that enables us to have eternal life? What is the thing that will enable us to live forever in the Kingdom of God? For Jesus, it is pretty simple. Treat every single person you meet at if they were Jesus Christ. Whatever you do for God’ s people, you do for God.
This is something easy to say. In fact, most of us can say this verse from memory without really even thinking about it. Yet, it is difficult to see Christ in every single person. Where is Christ in a man who murders his two little boys in a fire? Where is Christ in an employer who consciously underpays employees in order to make more money for him or herself? Where is God in the person who cuts you off in traffic or who bullies you? Where is God in the person who treats you as an object rather than with the dignity you deserve?
As hard as it is to believe, God is in every single one of these people. Genesis tells us that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus takes this one step further and tells us that not only are we created in the image of God, but we must treat each other as the image we are. God loves each one of us deeply, personally, and passionately. So too, are we to treat the world around us.