A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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."
“'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”
Since I can remember, I have always “assumed” I will go to heaven, probably based on a combination of love for God and trust in Him. But one cannot assume their way into heaven—it does not work that way.
Today’s scripture puts into light that which God expects from us. It is not just I praying for myself and my family but it is how I treat God’s children—God’s family.
Five years ago I was close to death and fear of leaving my children behind reminded me of my dear Lord’s love for me and the many consolations I had received in my lifetime. I had lost my mother at the age of one and many of God’s graces were given to me by family and friends who with their love sustained me during my most formative years.
It is now that I can look back and understand that God wants us to choose freely to do deeds of mercy for Him. In order to enter His kingdom I must, through faith and love for Him, care for those in need. –the homeless, the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the poor, the strange ones, the mentally ill, the people who most aggravate us and those in prison.
May the Lord bless in time and eternity all those who through my life have given me love, care, and comfort, specially my father, and the many others that with a smile, a word of encouragement were the hands and voice of Jesus Christ for me… may I have the grace to imitate their acts of love in abundance.