“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Matthew 25:34 – 36
When this part of the Gospel took place most of the people struggled to kept themselves alive on a very poor basic diet. They endured abject poverty and there were few opportunities to change your position in life. You were either very poor or very rich and you usually stayed in that category for the whole of your life.
The good news that Jesus brought was not only the forgiveness of sin but also good news for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. It was a positive message for those who needed it most. However, it was a real test for those who did have plenty to eat, drink, and wear. They were being asked to do something new – to share. At the time of this account, Christians were starting to reach across the divisions of class, culture, and gender sharing their resources with one another regardless of their social and economic standing. This continues to be a challenge for Christians today. What a lesson for us all!
Jesus tells us to view life from the bottom up. To consider the needs of the poor because there will always be enough for everyone if we share. We need to work against corruption and those who accumulate power and wealth while ignoring the rest of society.
Prayer: Dear God, help us so that we might see the world as Jesus did. That the good news which we both receive and share, be truly good news for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Amen.
Action: What can we do to make life better for those at the lower end of society? We receive so much – what can we share?