Sunday, November 2
Matthew 25: 34-40 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
St. Benedict, in cultivating the community that was to become the Benedictine monastic order held this founding principle, “To reject the world is to reject other people. To reject other people is to reject Christ himself…All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ.” Sticking close to the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25, Benedict reminded people that welcoming strangers as Christ was not some idea for consideration. Such welcoming is, effectively, Christian law. See people as Christ, particularly the least of these. See in them the Christ, see in them the force of life, see in them the spark of the Divine. And, as you relate to people around you, know that you are treading on holy ground.
Question for reflection:
Think of a time when you related to another person as if you were relating to Christ. Describe the feeling, the way of thinking? How does relating to another person as Christ shift (or not shift) the way you relate to them?