Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Matthew 25:31-46
The Least among Us
This much we knew. That God finds us in solitude, sacraments, the beauty of nature, old friends, the support of family, when cynicism gives way to solidarity and action. Familiar or drab surroundings can break into color. An ordinary day can yield awareness and gratitude. I step out the door and realize that I’m alive and how much it matters to be here.
We find our balance but never touch bottom. Seeking what is real or true takes us deeper. There is more to our lives than what we knew. In today’s gospel, the righteous inherit the kingdom but still wonder where to find God. Generous and faithful, they are present to the least among us. Moving beyond duty, they enter into the lives of those who are forgotten. They touch flesh and hear stories and share what they have. Broken lives do not scare them. Like an ancient spring, they do not run dry. That God was present all along amazes them.
Scripture is blunt: you will find me among the poor. It is hard to give those words a respectable meaning. God was not supposed to dwell in crumpled places. We never dreamed that the sacred would accompany raw need. Besides, the messy works of mercy were not assigned to me.
Into the careful composition of our lives arise the most unexpected forms of beauty.
By Jeanne Schuler