Judging from the number of television series about courtroom drama over the years, from Perry Mason to Law and Order, we have a fascination with law and order. Well, the ultimate “law and order” moment is presented to us in today’s Gospel about the Last Judgment.
The key sentence at the Last Judgment is whatever you did for one of the least, you did for me. This is the ultimate criterion on which we will be judged. Not how many times we went to Mass, not how many rosaries we said, etc. These are important aids to help us live as we should, but they are not the be all and end all.
The most important word in that sentence is least. Jesus is concerned about those who have no power or position, those who are shunned by others. It could be the relative that everyone ignores at a family gathering – or who isn’t even invited! It could be the difficult coworker whom everyone avoids. It is the beggar on the street, the
immigrant with no place to stay, the person with very different cultural norms, etc. etc. In other words, it is the people no one wants to be around.
The last four words in the sentence underscore the gravity of our decisions: you did for me. In whatever way we treated these unwanted, unpopular people, we treated our judge. If we helped them, we helped our judge, And vice versa.
Jesus is a compassionate judge, not a harsh one. He wants the best for everyone. He wants all those who need help or support to receive it and He wants us to do our part. As we are compassionate, He will be able to be compassionate to us.
How have I done over this past Church year? Have I grown in my ability to be compassionate and supportive to those in need? Am I in a better position to meet Christ the King than I was a year ago? Perhaps reflecting on this will help me enter the season of Advent, a time of preparation to celebrate the first coming of Christ, more focused on growth in my preparation for meeting him when He comes to me at the end of my life.
Christ wants desperately to be compassionate to me. Am I living in such a way as to allow Him?
Church sign of the week: Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.