Monday, February 15, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 25:31-46

Monday of the First Week of Lent –Matthew 25:31-46

Today Jesus is talking with his disciples about the time when the Son of Man will come in glory.  He is telling them that everyone on earth will be gathered together and He will separate the peoples, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  The sheep will have a privileged place on his right hand and the goats will be on his left.

To the sheep, Jesus says: “You will be at my right hand.  You fed me when I was hungry and you cared about me and you were attentive to me.”  However, the people listening to Jesus were confused.  They knew that they had not clothed Jesus, nor had they quenched his thirst.  The people asked Jesus: “When did we do these things?”  Jesus told them that when you fed the hungry, clothed the naked and helped others in a multitude of physical or spiritual ways, you helped me.  Clearly, Jesus is instructing them that whatever goodness and kindness they do for the people around them, they also do for Him. 

The goats then begin to complain or make excuses to Jesus.  They tell him that they had not had the opportunity to serve Him in this way.   Jesus bluntly tells them that they were not concerned with the people who were in need.   They did not clothe them or feed them or minister to them.  They simply ignored them. 

Jesus makes it clear that what we do or do not do for others is a determining factor for our future.   In a real sense, we are the ones who make the choice about our future.  We have the power to choose to help others or to ignore them and their needs.  If we choose to help others, hopefully it is not simply because we want to be with Jesus in heaven.  Hopefully our desire to help others flows from our concern for them and perhaps our gratitude for the times when someone else helped us.  Perhaps we wish to help others as we have been helped. 

As we go through our day today, may we be attentive to the times when someone could use a helping hand or a listening ear.  There are people in need all around us!  The question is: will we see them and reach out to them? 

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