“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.”
Often in the gospel stories, Jesus speaks in tricky parables or confusing stories. Hearers of these stories are sometimes left scratching their heads as they try to figure out what he is saying. In one part of Matthew, Jesus even asks his disciples if they understand what he is saying after telling them a series of parables. “Yes!” they reply, but I wonder if they are really being honest. Their answer is just a little too enthusiastic, it seems to me!
It’s not really so in this reading from Matthew that we hear today. Jesus is very clear: If you want to inherit eternal life, with all of its rewards, then there are some things you must do on this side of life. Feed the hungry, give something to drink to those who thirst, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit those who are sick or in prison. It’s a lot to do; a life’s work, really. And I think that’s the point. This work should be what we, who call ourselves followers of Jesus, are devoted to doing. It’s not easy and there will always be more work than we can handle on our own. But it’s holy work. It is our work as the people of God.
Appointed readings for today: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18, Psalm 19:7-14, Matthew 25:31-46