The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Yesterday we reflected on staying focused on Jesus so that we “will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3). In today’s reading we learn that we need to “see” Jesus in other people in order to live faithfully.
We must learn to see Jesus where we least expect to find him. Jesus explains it this way in his parable: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat . . . I was a stranger and you invited me in . . . I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Notice that Jesus does not say, “There was a stranger who came to your community. . . .” Jesus says, “I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Jesus also anticipates some confusion that people could have while hearing this story. So he has the people in the story ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry . . . or thirsty . . . [or] a stranger . . . [or] sick or in prison . . . ?” And he says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Jesus identifies with people who are disadvantaged and marginalized. The Lord cares for all people in need, and so should we. And we should not be involved in oppressing or discriminating against anyone. Faith helps us to see Jesus in people who are hungry, sick, imprisoned, strangers in our midst, and more—and he calls us to provide the love and support they need.
Jesus, thank you for showing us how much you care for people we easily overlook. Help us to share your love and care faithfully. Amen.