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Monday of the First Week of Lent, February 19, 2024



Gospel

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.”


Reflection


This quote stands out to me…” ‘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.”


This reminds me of the golden rule we often tell children, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” basically meaning treat others the way you’d want to be treated. However this quote goes so much deeper than this egoism way of thinking.


We are made in the image and likeness of Christ and as such we are made to see Jesus in everyone around us. We do not treat others with kindness just because we want them to do the same to us, but we do so because that is the face of Jesus, in the people around us. We each have our own innate dignity and are called to be reflections of Christ to others. Acts of kindness and compassion are not just gestures of goodwill, but opportunities to encounter the presence of Christ in others.


Instead of focusing on our own self interest we are challenged to embrace a deeper, different attitude towards loving our neighbors, looking beyond the surface and recognizing the inherent sacredness within every human being.

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