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?’ 4 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.’ (Matthew 25.34-40)
The Gospel challenges us to see Christ in the hungry, the imprisoned, the stranger, those in need of clothing …
How do we respond?
Well, many churches, St Chrysostom’s included, seek to welcome the stranger, collect food for the hungry, and clothing for those who need it. This is kind and Christian work. It is to be encouraged, and in part this is what our Bakhita project at St Chrysostom’s works to do in our local area. Without doubt such work must be a Christian priority.
Our own patron saint, John Chrysostom says:
More challenge to our way of looking at things! In posts that follow we’ll look a little more at this challenge. For now here is a question:
If Christ is ‘in the beggar at the Church door’ or in the stranger who comes to us, or in those in need of food or clothing – then what is Christ, in those people saying to us?