Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Jesus in the Needy
Here is part of a haunting reflection that an old friend wrote more than fifty years ago:
"In the thinning of the forests,
in the lengthening of shadows,
our life is seen as fleeting,
our end as drawing near."
As we approach the end of the Church year, we turn our thoughts to Jesus' story of judgment(Matthew 25:31-46.) What I find most striking about this picture is that the criteria for judgment is whether I helped those who needed me, not whether I went to church or did any of the things that I think of as religion. Jesus insists that the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and those in prison have a claim on me.
The basis of their claim is different from the one that usually motivates my moral behavior. I am aware that Jesus is living in me and reaches out through me to love others. Jesus in me enables me to be good.
Here the motivation is reversed. Jesus lives in others. In helping those who need me, I am helping Jesus.