Monday, March 10, 2014

“The Golden Rule is of no use to you whatsoever unless you realize that it’s your move”

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought.” ― St Augustine of Hippo, On Christian Doctrine

Gospel text (Mt 25:31-46):
Jesus said to his disciples, «When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his angels, He will sit on the throne of his Glory. All the nations will be brought before him, and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will He do with them, placing the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. The King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, blessed of my Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you wel¬¬comed me into your house. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me’. Then the good people will ask him: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food; thirsty and give you drink, or a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to see you?’ The King will answer, ‘Truly, I say to you: when¬ever you did this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me’.

»Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Go, cursed peo¬ple, out of my sight into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you did not give me anything to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome me into your house; I was naked and you did not clothe me; I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me’. They, too, will ask: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked or a stranger, sick or in prison, and did not help you?’. The King will answer them: ‘Truly, I say to you: whatever you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do for me’. And these will go into eternal punishment, but the just to eternal life».

We are all familiar with what Jesus calls the “two great commandments” of the Law: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart… . You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). But these commandments can seem so vague that we may not know how to observe them.

We may sometimes wonder how we can love a Messiah who is invisible and who lives up in heaven. He can seem so distant to us, so different from the people we encounter every day.

Or is he?

If you want to see Jesus, look into the eyes of someone who is poor, hungry, homeless, sick, or imprisoned. Look into the eyes of a friend or family member who is suffering in some way. Listen carefully to what this person is saying—and is not saying. Stay long enough and you will find Jesus! Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta would often say that it was a privilege to care for the poorest of the poor because they offered her so many opportunities to meet Jesus.

Our Lord is very specific today as to how we all will be judged. A lot of people don’t want to hear that but their denial will not change the facts. And the fact is, Jesus is coming again--the Son of Man will come in his glory. All the masks will come off; the truth will come out, no more pretending and play-acting. “Sheep will be revealed as sheep and goats will be revealed as goats.” It’s not always so immediately apparent in this life. But it will be then.

Let us beg the Virgin Mary for her help in our acts of service to her Son in our brothers.

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