February 23, 2015
(St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr)
Jesus told a parable about God’s kingdom, saying:
‘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.’ Mt 25:31-46
Sometimes, beloved, we don’t even realize the impact of what we do for others, because it comes so naturally. And then one day we’ll get a surprise ‘thank you.’ Or we’ll hear, second or third hand, how some little thing we did affected the lives of others so significantly. These are the little things that Jesus is speaking about in today’s Gospel. And He accepts every one of them as if we were doing them for Jesus himself.
So the next time we hold open that door or allow someone to take the line ahead of us; the next time we hold back that critical comment or rude gesture about someone’s odd behavior; the next time we give thanks to God for sending that needy person our way, so that we can offer them help – we are “blessed,” and we will surely inherit that Kingdom that was prepared by God from the foundation of the world – just for us!
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