Action and Inaction

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In the first reading today from Leviticus 19, the Lord tells Moses to tell the people how to conduct themselves. Though not the Ten Commandments, this reading sounds similar. It ends with the great commandment, the one that Jesus spoke of when asked which is the greatest of the commandments…”You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Our Gospel reading is from Matthew 25.

Here Jesus tells of the king separating the sheep from the goats. Who will be the ones who inherit the kingdom? They are the ones who look after “these least brothers of mine.”For I was hungry and you gave me food, 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.” And the goats? They are the ones who did none of these things. “And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

This story reminds us that action is good. Taking care of the poor and marginalized is something we must do. It’s great to be positive and encourage others to be people of action. But there’s another side to this coin. The story also reminds us that inaction can be deadly. I always remind folks that actions have consequences. Well, so does inaction.

Father, help us to not turn our backs on our least brothers. May we always take action to help those in need. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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