In the first reading today from Leviticus 19, Moses gives the people instructions from God on how to conduct their lives. It sounds very similar to the Ten Commandments. It ends with the great commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 25, we see a familiar story from Jesus about the king separating the sheep from the goats. The blessed ones (the sheep) are the ones who do good works – feeding the hungry, giving drink the the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and visiting prisoners. Their reward will be eternal life. Those who do not do these things (the goats) will go off to eternal punishment.
Some people say that our works are meaningless, that we don’t have to DO anything to inherit eternal life. These words of Jesus pretty well shoot down that proposition. Our works of charity do have eternal value. Just as our lack of charity will as well. The funny thing about being a sheep or a goat is that you get to pick which you will be. So what will you pick: sheep or goat?
Father, give us a heart filled with love, that we might take care of our least brothers and sisters. We choose to be sheep. Amen.
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