Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28 Matthew 25:31-46
Have you ever seen a movie that includes a surprise ending and then seen it a second time? The first time you see the movie you have only the information that the characters in the movie possess. But after seeing the entire movie a second time, you know more. Now you want to say to the characters, "Don't trust her; she's a spy! “ or “Watch out! He's the real killer! “
Today's gospel gives us the famous scene of the last judgment. Jesus as the judge separates the sheep from the goats, the just from the unjust. But if this were a movie, we would realize the sheep and goats did not know the surprise ending. In fact the sheep say, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?” And the goats for their part answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison and not minister to your needs?”
The surprise ending comes when Jesus tells the just that ministering to the hungry was ministering to him! And he tells the unjust that failing to care for the least among them was failing to care for him.
Thanks to the gospel, we know the surprise ending. We live our lives having been told that the least among us,… the hungry, the homeless, the stranger… are all those people Mother Theresa would describe as "Christ in distressing disguise.”
We have heard the gospel. The old guy standing on the corner with a piece of cardboard advertising his need, the family at the border seeking refuge, the elderly aunt who suffers from dementia and repeats herself incessantly…Christ lives in them. How we treat them is how we treat him.
Now we know.
by: Pat Schnee