Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday December 16 See Jesus

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:34-40

No one living today has actually seen Jesus. Or have we? These days images abound...images of families and individuals desperately trying to flee Aleppo. See Jesus! Images of children wide eyed and bloodied or staring blankly too traumatized to register outward emotion. See Jesus! Images of refugee camps teeming with displaced persons struggling daily to survive. See Jesus! Images of starving children too weak to raise their heads. See Jesus! Images of young girls forced into the sex trade. See Jesus! Or perhaps the images in our minds are closer to home. Memories of faces we have seen in the flesh. The single mom struggling to hold her family together. The lonely senior in the nursing home. The homeless person you pass each day on that same corner on your way to work. The "misbehaving" child who is actually struggling with autism. In all of these see Jesus. Yet in the parable, the king rewards not those who simply see, but those who fed or invited or clothed or visited. We may not have the power to make wars to cease or feed all the hungry people, but we can refuse to look the other way pretending we do not see. We can see with eyes of love and act with compassion, doing, as Mother Teresa encouraged, small things with great love.. And then we will indeed see Jesus...all around us...everyday.

God of the hurting and helpless and hopeless, open our eyes, we pray, to the pain of those around us both near and far. Gift us with an ache that makes inaction intolerable. Help us to see the face of Jesus in each one, even as we offer this prayer in His name. AMEN!

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