Just two days before He was about to be handed over to be crucified, Jesus told His disciples about the last judgement. He was speaking about the end of the world, about the day in which all would know about their state in eternity.

In a way this was a very severe lesson to those listening to Him, and to all who would in the future read it in the Gospel.

The last day will be very sudden. It will be very final, just, and will last forever. This is God’s will. Jesus does give the disciples instructions on how to avoid the everlasting punishment, because He does not want anyone to be condemned. This lesson to the whole world is necessary because there are people who are working against God’s will. The laws are necessary because there is transgression against God’s word. If there was no evil, only love in the world, there would also be no need for this terrible teaching.

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The church chooses to present this Gospel to us just before the start of lent. Lent gives us the opportunity for meditation, prayer, and to improve our relationship with God.

Let us not forget that lent is a time for each of us to examine ourselves and to decide, what is the state of our own ultimate destination?

When we look closely at what Jesus is telling us in this Gospel, we notice that He is telling us to be like Him. Why? Because all of us are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. He says so directly. In verse 40 we read, “I assure you as often as you did it to one of my least brothers, you did it for Me”, and then He repeats in verse 45, “as often as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to me.”

This obligation to be of service to our brothers and sisters does not only refer to giving food, visiting the sick, those in jail, but as the church has been teaching from the beginning that the Lord’s command can include those who are hungry for God’s word, those who thirst for spiritual comfort, need freedom from the prison of sin and those who cannot solve their own problems. The church includes not only the priests and the sisters, but all the lay people are also commanded by God to be of service as well.

As we, in prayer, look about the world today we can see so many different ways in which we can and should be of help. There is political oppression, ecological problems, slavery, poverty, persecution, oppression, denial of rights, and diseases.

Today, Jesus is asking us that, during lent, we can examine the different ways we can be of service. Jesus can be seen in all of our brothers and sisters in need.

 

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