Monday, March 14, 2011

Whatsoever You Do...

Today's Gospel is a vitally important one to remember. In it (Matthew 25: 31-46), the Lord lets his disciples and us know what is going to happen at the end of the world. The tag line, "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me" can sometimes seem like a nice sentiment, but we forget that it is much more. This is the criteria that the Lord Himself says will be used to judge us.
During Lent, most of us adopt extra practices, whether it is a form of self-denial (giving up sweets, alcohol, favorite TV program) or adding things to our daily routine (Mass, Stations of the Cross, Scripture reading). Too often we focus on what we are doing, rather than why we are doing it. When we deny ourselves something, it is so that we will be more in tune with the needs of others. Additional time spent in prayer, good works or reflection is supposed to help us become more aware of God's presence in our lives. If the only result of your having given up desserts for Lent is that you are miserable and complaining to everyone around you, eat a cupcake... fast!
This is supposed to be a time when we become more aware of not only the sacrifice that the Lord made for us, but also our connectedness with God and others. None of us knows when we will be called to stand before the Lord in judgment. But we do know the criteria He will use. Today is a good day to take stock and see how we are doing. We need to see if we are heading to eternal punishment, or eternal life, and decide if we need to make changes in how we are treating the Lord present in one another.

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