Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18 / Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus talks about judgment
"I was hungry and you gave me food,"
Mike Peters won the 1981 Pulitzer prize for political cartoons. Reporter Joe Urschel asked him, "How did you feel when you got the news?"
“I couldn’t believe it," said Mike.
"I didn’t even know I was in the running for it. It was like someone waking you and saying. ‘Get up, you just won the Boston Marathon.' And you say, 'But I wasn’t in that race.' And they say, “It doesn't matter, you won it anyway!”
That's how the good folks in today's gospel felt when Jesus said to them,
"Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom....
For I was hungry and you gave me food.”
They said to Jesus, "Lord, when did we see you hungry?”
And you know how the parable ends.
What are we doing for the Lord’s least?
Lord, give me eyes to see you in the least of your brothers and sisters. (ML)
It is said that in order to be great, one must be humble. In order to succeed, one has to undergo failure. In order to be understood, one has first to understand.
There seems to be a connection with opposites, even though opposites are understood as two realities or concepts in opposition. So, in an apparent opposition, there is some kind of common denomination.
So how about being human and being Christian? Are these two identities in opposition or is there something in common? Some may think that being a Christian means accepting and adhering to a higher moral standard. But if we look at the 1st reading, the precepts that are stated are not too lofty or too difficult to adhere to.
In fact, they are more like basic human values of honesty and integrity - "you must not stead or deal deceitfully with your neighbour; you must not exploit or rob your neighbour; you must not curse the dumb, nor put an obstacle in a blind man's way"
If that seems to be like some kind of religious moral code, then in the gospel Jesus makes it clear what is fundamental in life (even regardless of religion) - feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison.
The season of Lent is a time for us to reflect on our frailty and weakness that has led us to sin. But it is also a time to discover our true human identity and our fundamental human responsibility and duty. Because in order to be a Christian, we have to be truly human, and to be like Jesus who became like us in all things except sin. (SY)