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Do You See Him?

First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

“You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name,
thus profaning the name of your God.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
You shall not curse the deaf,
or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
but you shall fear your God.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
but judge your fellow men justly.
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 15

R. (John 6:63b) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
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 foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”

NAB

feb 15

It’s 112 degrees. The hot sun beats down on my neck and my feet are covered in dry dust from the dirty roads. I’m two months into a semester of teaching English in India. The little orphan faces that surround me are faces I have come to know and love. I see in them the face of Christ.

Fast forward a few years.

Every day my drive to and from work takes me on an exit ramp that is a popular place for homeless people to stand with their tattered signs. “Homeless, Hungry. Anything helps. God bless.” I reach into my back seat and take a few things from the bags of groceries there. As I hit the red light I roll down my window and pass them to the man on the corner. I see in him the face of Christ.

Fast forward a few more years.

I’m standing in my kitchen. I’m bouncing a baby in one arm and frantically trying to make lunch with the other for the toddler who is clinging to my knees. Both children are crying, hungry, and completely dependent on me to meet their needs. I see in them the face of Christ.

My life has changed dramatically over the years. The scope of my world has become much smaller. But one thing that has not changed is the daily opportunity I am given to be a minister of Christ’s love to those around me.

The First Reading today gives us a daunting command, “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” And how am I to be holy? By loving my neighbor as myself, and by seeing the face of Christ in those around me.

Who in your life needs you to show them the love of Christ? As you minister to them, look for His face.

photo credit

Anna Coyne is a wife, mother, musician, knitter, gardener, and convert to the Catholic faith.  Read more about her here.

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