Posted by: livingscripture | February 27, 2012

First Monday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

“I was a stranger and you gave me no welcome.”

                                          Matthew 25: 43                                                                                            

How should we live this Word

The evangelist places this expression on the lips of the Son of God, as He will manifest Himself at the end of time, at the final judgment.  What draws our attention the most is the fact that the designation of a fully happy life comes by identifying Christ with the needs of our sisters and brothers.  The point is to recognize Christ in those who are hungry or thirsty or in the most varied necessities of life.  Salvation means recognizing Him and assisting Him.  Refusing to recognize Him condemns us to the utter ruin of our personhood.

Today, the condition of the stranger is one of great discomfort for many, forced for various reasons to migrate from their country.  Condemned to leave places rich in affection and memories, their own language, usages, family and friends, they often meet with coldness, diffidence, and closed hearts when they arrive at other places.  We find the cure for this ugly disease, often dressed up as false prudence and pseudo rationales, in the words where Jesus identifies Himself with the Arab, the Afghani, the Pakistani, the Ethiopian, and all others.  I was a stranger, and you have not given hospitality to your Lord in the person of the one knocking at your door.  “Depart from me, you accursed!”  You instead, helped me find work and a dignified life.  “Come, you who are blest by my Father!”

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on this important aspect of today’s history.  Help me, Lord, to be numbered among the blessed who take care of You in the poor and needy.

Lord, grant that I may recognize You in my suffering sisters and brothers, no matter who they are or where they come from. 

The voice of Hèlder Camara, witness

Your Son, One with You and with the Holy Spirit, asked for a drink from the Samaritan woman.  Still today, You cry out in anguish as on Calvary, when the response to You was vinegar and gall.  You too, Father, are tired by now of knocking in vain, asking for a piece of bread to ease Your hunger.

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