Home » Opinion » Reflections Today » The judgment of the nations

The judgment of the nations

Gospel Reading: Mt 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.”

Yesterday’s passage comes from the very first sermon of Jesus in Matthew; today’s Gospel, from the last. After this, Jesus does not talk anymore because it is time to undergo his passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus talks about reward and punishment for one’s behavior to the poor and the needy. We will be measured accordingly at the Last Judgment. Christianity is not so much about worship and external devotion as it is about the practice of charity.

Even in the Old Testament, God often reminded the people, through the prophets, to care for the poor. The needy are the hungry, thirsty, sick, naked, or in prison. Today they may be identified as the displaced, the homeless, the abandoned children, and the victims of injustice, violence, terror, and social neglect. We are a Church of the poor.

Our institutions are called to deliver services to the sick and those living in the periphery. Our parishes need to strengthen their social service programs and spend less on socials.

How much time and money do you spend for corporal works of mercy?

* * *

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.