“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that 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 something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me 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 nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
What have you done for the least of God’s children?
Have you fed them? Have you clothed them? Have you visited them in prison? Have you loved them when no one else would? Have you cared for them in the way that they needed, even when they could not ask? Have you spent the night waiting for them, praying for their safety? Have you asked God to let you suffer with them?
It is such a humble burden to care for another. When we take a risk and do for someone else the kindness that human dignity deserves, when we open our hearts to possibility and let our expectations go for a moment, we might just end up feeling exhausted and foolish, rather than blessed. It might be only long after, looking back, that we see the face of Christ reflected in their eyes.
On this feast of Christ the King, I ask myself: What have I done for Christ?
—Fr. Paul Lickteig, S.J. serves as parochial vicar at St. Xavier Church, Cincinnati OH.
Empty our hands of the barnacles of success
Empty our minds of all arrogant thought.
Empty our hearts of all false affection.
Fill our hands with the wounds of service.
Fill our minds with the vision of your beauty.
Fill our hearts with holy tears of peace.
—J. Michael Sparough, S.J.
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