Reflection by Tina Dennelly
Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
I recently interviewed a priest who told me that these verses from today’s Gospel of Matthew moved him to tears as a teenager and were one of the inspirations for his vocation to the priesthood.
His being moved to tears – as a 15-year-old – moved me to tears! That’s not something that happens to teenagers too often!
He mentioned specifically these verses: “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. . . . Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
These words of Jesus inspired many saints over the centuries – and today – to works of charity through clothing drives, soup kitchens, and outreach ministries that provide financial aid to those in need. They inspire the heart of our Catholic social teaching.
But let’s go back to the priest I interviewed: this teaching inspired his priestly vocation. He wanted, as a priest, to do these things for other people.
Which brings us to the heart of all of our vocations. No matter if we are single or married, lay or religious, we are all called to the common priesthood of the faithful. That is, by our baptism we are all called to be like Jesus Christ the High Priest: Christ in the world feeding, clothing, and visiting those who need it. We are called to be Christ to our families and imitate Him in our lives.
As we begin this first full week of Lent, let us pray for the opportunity to be priestly like Christ, through the Lenten practices of prayer, penance, and almsgiving.
How can I be an instrument of healing to others today?
Lord, You sent Jesus as Your High Priest. Please help me point others toward the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
Copyright 2019 Tina Dennelly
Tina Dennelly lives with her husband and four children on Long Island, NY. She is a full-time religion editor and a freelance writer. Her writing is currently featured in The Long Island Catholic Magazine.
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