Sunday, August 3, 2014

He looked up and had pity on thm

In Matthew 25, Jesus separates sheep from goats to help illustrate the last judgment and the coming of the Kingdom.  This is a powerful image, especially for those who would like to think that Jesus accepts any sort of response to his invitation to be a disciple.  Who gets into heaven?  Well it seems to be the meek, humble, kind, compassionate, peacemakers, seekers of justice and truth, and those who are persecuted for being righteous.  It should be noted that the 'nice' are not included here. 

To be sure we are called and directed to take up the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ.  That work includes the ability to see peoples in deserted places, see their needs and hungers, and have the ability to feed them.  Like the apostles we might cry out and declare the we do not have enough.  But as Jesus indicates we are to feed each other from our wellspring, from that which we have received from the blessings of the Christ.  More exactly Jesus builds up what is lacking in our lives.

See we are supposed to be the Church in the world today.  It is easy to imagine that 'Father' and 'Sister' do all of the work and are responsible for the ministry of the Church.  But St Paul will want us to understand that just as we have received the body and blood of Christ at the sacred altar of salvation, we are to share with others that same grace and blessing.

That is we recognize and identify the hungry, sorrowing, and the broken.  Through the ministry of Jesus, and of the Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we minister to each other and share Good News.  Being Church is understanding that we are fellow sojourners and therefore we respond with and for each other.  I remember at one parish asking what was central to the mission of the parish.  Their response?  The parish dinners.  With much prodding and some fairly obvious hints they could not think of the Eucharist.

Like the crowds we are fed with the Body and Blood of Christ.  Let's make sure that the Eucharist is always the beginning and end of all that we do in faith.  The bread and wine should move us to consider what (who) we have received, and to respond with compassion and mercy towards each other.  Even St Paul advocates that we cannot receive the Eucharist unworthily, and need to respond with love and kindness towards all of our brothers and sisters based on the Eucharist. 

We let Jesus work with and through us so that we can be a reflection of Christ's care and compassion for all men and women.