Monday 2 March 2020

First Week of Lent

Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 25:31-46

Response

The day in any case will come when we will have to give account of our life to God, that is for sure. But not in the way we imagine, not in the way we are used to imagining it, or how others have made us imagine  it.
In this passage the Gospel does not outline terms of judgement, it does not present questions or discussions that people will need to answer, it does not name courts and juries. The passage makes no mention to the necessity of belonging to any religion, ritual, or faith nor to the need to be faithful to precepts, or theologies. In reality if we want to to be faithful to the text, in these lines, which describe the encounter of God Jesus with mankind, men are not asked to give any account of their life. If the text is properly and carefully read, it becomes clear that Jesus the Son of the Man does not ask for a report from mankind; He simply proceeds to divide the immense human crowd into two huge wings. One will be invited to follow Him and will be blessed. The other one will be turned away and damned. In the entire history of the universe this is the only time God Jesus performs an act of separation and turns away mankind. These lines do not explain how someone should respond to God at the end of one's life, this is not a prophetic story of God's ultimate judgment of mankind: it would be trivially incosistent with the rest of the Gospel and much closer to human  reasoning than to the infinite breath of divine vision and inspiration.
God is not a religious reality, He is not a ritual reality, he is not a collection of precepts, he is not a sum of efforts, He is not a seated jury, He does not belong to one church or another. God is love, compassion, sharing, joy without end in unity. God is love, only love, always love, entirely love.
These wonderful lines do not reveal to us how we must answer in the last day, absolutely not. They reveal very powerfully and without any possibility  of being misunderstood, how we are responding to love now, this very moment. They give us the exact and perfectly perceptible measure of how we are responding to love, to sharing, to unity, now, in the present moment, not tomorrow. They inspire us with wonderful perspectives, beyond every reasoning they open us to unknown awareness regarding how we are responding, in this moment of time and life, to the love of Jesus Love who, in the face of this world's injustice, is embodied once again in the countless persons who are hungry, thirsty, and in need. These Gospel's words do not reveal how we will give account of our life to God in the last day, but they reveal to us how we are responding to love, to sharing, to unity  this very moment, precisely now, this very instant.
Believing that we are responding to God does not always mean that we are automatically responding to love. In fact much has been done, in the name of God, against Love. But if we respond with love, with real sharing, we will surely respond to God and we will be blessed and welcomed forever to the wing of his light.