In yesterday’s Gospel reading at mass we heard the familiar lines, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.”
My favorite part of the passage is when the people ask Jesus, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you? The startling response is, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”
For me, this reading is a challenge urging me to think about how I see God, where I see God and in whom I see God. I recall seeing a poster some years ago with a group of people entering a church after making their way through a variety of different people on the street. The provocative wording on the poster said, “If you can’t find God out here, you won’t find God in there.”
If we are all made in the image and likeness of God as I was taught in Catholic grammar school, then each of us has something of God in our being. Do we choose to believe that or do we want to ignore that responsibility?
Depending on how we choose to answer that question will determine our focus and outlook in these most unusual and uncertain days. Perhaps the gift of being off from school this week is to have the time and to take the opportunity to see God in others, and, just as importantly, to bring God to others. Then, unlike the people in the Gospel, we won’t be dismayed to hear Jesus say to us, “Whatever you did for one of the lest of these, you did for me” because we will be able to respond by saying, “Yes; I know.”
Brother Hank is listening to “Let Them See You in Me” by JJ Weeks Band. Listen in at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOg-1JjAdGk