“When 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 from 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 into 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 to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It’s Lent again. What will I give up versus what will I do? Only yesterday, lost in my musings, I almost walked into a woman on the street carrying a sleeping bag. She startles. “I’m sorry. I live outside, I’m going over there [pointing to an abandoned house nearby] to sleep tonight. I’m an addict. I’m sorry.” I smile and say, “I’m sorry, too.” I walk on. I don’t see her again, but I can’t get her off my mind. “WHEN WAS IT THAT WE SAW YOU A STRANGER AND WELCOMED YOU?” I thought, “But who can I call, where could she go?” and further rationalized, “She wants to be out here, or she’d be in a shelter…”
Merriam Webster defines “WELCOME” as “to greet someone in a warm, friendly manner.” Does Jesus define it as more? Maybe so. I take this conundrum to my daily Examen, to ponder with God.
—Donna K. Becher, M.S. is an associate spiritual director intern at the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality, Charleston, West Virginia. Her training is rooted in the Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Jesus, I feel within me
a great desire to please you
but, at the same time,
I feel totally incapable of doing this
without your special light and help,
which I can expect only from you.
Accomplish your will within me—
Even in spite of me.
—St. Claude la Colombière, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!