The Good News for the day, February 19, 2018
Monday of the First Week of Lent (223)
Jesus says to anyone inspired by Him: “When This Human Child would come and reveal what He means (his “glory”)—all the messengers of God with him—he would take charge, sitting in authority for what He ultimately means (his “glorious throne”). Everybody in the world would be assembled before him. He would separate them, one from another, the way a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. He would put the sheep here on his right, the goats over there on his left. Then the Deciding One (the “king”) would say to those on his right, ‘Come, you—special to my Father. Take charge of the realm that has been ready for you at the heart of the world—I was hungry—you gave me food, I was thirsty–you gave me drink, a stranger–you welcomed me, naked –you clothed me, ill—you cared for me, in prison—you were someone who visited me.’ The good folks will answer him and say, ‘Sir, when did we see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ Then the Deciding One would answer” ‘The truth is: anything you did for any brother of sister so much less than you, you did for me.’ Then he will turn to those on his left, ‘Get out of here, you damn people—into the ever-burning fire prepared for the Prosecutor (devil) and his minions. The fact is, I was hungry, but you didn’t give me food, thirsty, but you didn’t give me something to drink, a stranger but you did not welcome me, naked but you gave me no clothes, sick and in prison, but you did not care for me.’ They will answer and say, ‘Sir, when did we ever see you hungry, thirsty—or a stranger, badly clothed, sick or in prison, and didn’t minister to your needs?’ He would answer them, ‘The truth is: anything you didn’t do for anybody who is so much less, you didn’t do for me.’ These then will go off to enduring chastisement—the good folks to enduring life.” (Matthew 25) (Research has shaped many differences.)
This great poem by Jesus is not a history of the future—it was never meant to be “literal”—but a vivid call for you to repent now. It is for how He expect you and me to behave—the decision-making by our conscience, by the universal Spirit of Jesus, and by our Father which can clarify your care—or not—for others.
Accepting the terrifying instruction this poem calls us to–marks THE division between you who “get” Jesus and others—often so unwitting—who deny, disregard, misunderstand, misrepresent, and rationalize their ordinary lives into an indifference to persons in need. It is not about imposing specific religious rules, but about faith, attitude, caring—faith that we are brothers and sisters–mutual affection and kindness, and constantly growing awareness of the One Creator-Father we share