Scripture: Lectionary 225: Leviticus 19:1-2,11-18. Psalm 19:18.104.22.168.
In the parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus brings home to us the
importance of our concern for our neighbor. He returns to the message of
the parable three times thus according to the Scriptures making it a strong
message that needs to be heard. The point of the parable is to get us to
perform the corporal works of mercy. This parable while aiming at the
ultimate goal–being on the right side of the Redeemer and enjoying his
invitation to the enter the kingdom–it has an immediate message that we
should be attentive to one another in the here and now. The parable thus
centers on the accomplishing of God’s will through concrete acts of love
and compassion toward our neighbor and toward those who are in need. The
Scriptures of last week gave us these same corporal works of mercy through
Isaiah and in the story of Tobit who was so attentive to these works.
Jesus develops the parable by returning to it three times. The first time
is the scene of Jesus as the Judge of the persons at his right and his
left, the sheep and the goats as symbols of ourselves. We await his
decision about how we live and how we are to live in the light of this
teaching. Those gathered on the right will enter the kingdom because of
his asking what they have done and they in turn ask when did we do this.
As long as you did it to my least of brothers and sisters you did it to me.
Those on the left are put to the same test and process only they did not do
what the corporal works demanded of them. Their love was lacking and they
had no compassion on the poor and the homeless, the sick and the
In a sense, we all need to make the correct choices as did those on the
right. Choices have their consequences. Jesus decision will be effective
as the justice of God judges whether we actually did somethings for others.
In a real sense it all is within our own scope of living that we can chose
to do the good and avoid the evil.
We pray with our Psalm for the day: “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. Yes, Lord, your words are spirit and