Daily Reflection – Feb 15, 2016
Monday 15 February 2016
First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Your words, Lord, are spirit and life
Psalm 18(19):8-10, 15
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
Today’s Note: Monday of the First Week of Lent
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.”
“All nations will be gathered before him.”
The final judgment is made very clear in today’s reading. It is here where we are asked about how we recognised Christ in the poor. There is a tendency among us to give lip service to this teaching. We might say that living in countries like Australia that people don’t go hungry, and that the poor can rely on social services, a safety net. Yet, Mother Teresa when visiting Australia was said to have proclaimed ‘I have never seen such poverty.’
Imagine all the nations with their hungry, their immigrants, their prisoners, their sick, their homeless. What happens to God’s heart when God sees all these nations, what happens in the heart of Jesus and Mary? Matthew calls everyone to the corporal works of mercy.
Pray for the grace to hunger and thirst for justice and to share God’s own love for the weak and neglected. You cannot measure your spiritual progress by counting how many good services you have offered. You are never finished letting your heart expand. What one small step can you take today to alleviate poverty or its causes in your city, state or country? Ask the Spirit to show you. Listen. Then act.
Holy Spirit, give us the mind and heart of God. Give us your power and courage to speak out, your wisdom and energy to find ways to influence our nations.