By: Lise Lavack
As you prepare to do your meditation, put yourself in the Lord’s presence. Acknowledge Him being here with you.
The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (Matthew 25:31-46)
The Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep form the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand,
‘Come, you that 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 something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you? ’
And the king will answer them : Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me in to 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 nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you? ‘
Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Jesus is inviting us today to look at suffering. Those who hunger, thirst, are naked, are strangers, sick or prisoners. We may see people physically hungry and thirsty and needing clothing and we give – usually generously. However the hunger and the thirst may be deeper than the physical hunger and thirst. There may be an emotional or spiritual hunger or thirst that is not so obvious. Nakedness may apply to the need of clothing but may also concern the person’s vulnerability. Welcoming someone is not always easy – people are different from us and it takes a getting out of ourselves to move toward them. Sickness may be awkward – you don’t know what to say so we don’t visit. Surely some people are called to visit prisoners that are incarcerated but what about people who are prisoners of their negative thoughts, their fears, their illness, their old age? It is difficult to visit these people and yet we are called to do it. JP II said suffering is in the world to release love. I think his use of the word release is so appropriate. It implies that we have this love inside us. We just need to let it go, release it.
Take a moment to look at your life. How do you see the other person’s needs?
Do you strive to be aware of the other person that is next to you?
Is the love you have inside (given to you by God) released easily? Or is it always a struggle to go toward the other person?
Ask God to show you how to release this love freely and generously.
Dear Lord, we pray
- for the gift of awareness of the other person’s needs and suffering
- to answer the call of Our Lord to release this love that he has given us
- That God may continue to help us grow in this love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.