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The judgment of the nations

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REFLECTION

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.’… And these will go off… to eternal life.”

 

Reflection

Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine. The scene of the last judgment in Matthew calls our attention to the fact that we shall stand before God’s throne at the end of time to give an account of our life here on earth. And God will assess each one of us on the basis of what we did or what we failed to do towards the needy: the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the imprisoned, and others. We may have been very diligent in our religious tasks of fasting, praying, and reading the Word of God, but without the concrete manifestations of our faith mentioned in the parable, we may be found wanting as we are weighed, as it were, on the scales of love.

Indeed, God will not ask us how much knowledge — how many MAs or PhDs or academic awards — we have obtained, but what concrete acts of love we have shown towards those in need. Jesus identifies with these people: anything we do to them is done to Jesus himself.

 

Our earthly sojourn is our only chance to “prove” to God how much we are grateful for the life we have received and the salvation Christ has won for us. Let us not wait until it is too late, when we shall stand face to face with God to be judged.

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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