Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (25: 31-46) in which Jesus, when speaking about the time of judgement says, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”.Fr Paul notes, this is the last of Matthew’s great parables. The world is finally divided into ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’. The great dramatic scene depicted here will not necessarily happen all at once, but we shall, each of us, reach that moment of death and face the judgment of our divine Lord in his glory. This confrontation will be an experience far more awesome and earth-shattering than any description can express, and yet fulfilling and re-assuring. Two striking points are stressed in the parable. Firstly, when that time comes, we will be judged uniquely on our treatment of those in any kind of need. Not on our prayer-life. Only on our respect for others, how far we look to see what they need and what we can give. Each of the ten commandments in the Old Testament and each of the eight beatitudes in the New can be resolved into this: telling the truth, financial honesty, honouring father, mother or children), hunger for justice, peace-making. The second striking point is the reason for the first: that Christ is in each person. What we do to others, we do to Christ.
Fr Paul notes today’s Gospel Lesson – helping others in need is helping Jesus.