Matthew 25:31-46

The last discourse of Jesus concludes with the parable of the Last Judgment. Some do not consider it a parable but an eschatological vision (end of time) that describes a future real event.

It is not a matter of a collective judgment, but the people. Jesus as shepherd, separates the sheep from the goats. Jesus as judge decides the prize for the good and the punishment for the bad, and Jesus as king will say to those on his right: Come, blessed of my Father, receive the inheritance of the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

We know Jesus came in humility 2000 years ago and that he will come in power and glory at the end of time.  But today Jesus tells us that he is coming every day in those who suffer and those who are the needy. The king imparts the Father’s blessing to those who mercifully helped him. Because I was hungry, you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me;  I was naked, and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me; in prison, and you came to me. Here the first 6 corporal works of mercy are mentioned, the only thing missing is to bury the dead.

Other biblical texts reference the 7 spiritual works of mercy: 1. Give good advice to those in need. 2. Teach those who do not know. 3. Correct the one who is in error. 4. Comfort the sad. 5. Forgive offenses. 6. Bear with patience the defects of others. 7. Pray to God for the living and the dead.

The more I feel compassion for the one who suffers and I help him with sincerity, the closer I am to the kingdom of Christ. This gospel tells us that at the end of our life we will not be asked what we know about Jesus but what we have done for Jesus.  The more I have mercy on the one who suffers, the closer I am to entering the kingdom of God.

~Fr. Chesco