“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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
“I am a sinner!” I haven’t met many people who care to admit this! Yet these are the words uttered by Pope Francis, “I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.”
Each year, I am taken aback at how quickly this time of prayer and fasting gives rise to my disordered attachments and shortcomings. Despite my reluctance, acknowledging my sinfulness may not be such a bad place to start at the beginning of Lent.
The commandments, whether we read them today in the context of the Old or New Testament, invite us to consider the great covenant God has made with us. God never stops loving us! All that we have, and all that we are, is God’s gift. All God asks is for our love in return. Ultimately, it is a love expressed in action, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
I am a loved sinner. Can I ask for the grace today to recognize my sins, so I am free to accept God’s mercy and move forward in love?
—Beth Knobbe is an author and ministry professional based in Chicago, IL. She blogs at www.bethknobbe.com .
Gracious God, Empty our hands of the barnacles of success. Empty our minds of all arrogant thought. Empty our hearts of all false affection. Loving Savior, Fill our hands with the wounds of service. Fill our minds with the vision of your beauty. Fill our hearts with holy tears of peace.
—J. Michael Sparough, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!