Created ex nihilo, “out of nothing,” we could not start poorer than that.
Matthew 25:31-46 for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.
So that is the plan of God: he brought us into being out of nothing, and will give us a share in himself as his royal sons and daughters.
We were nothing, and God would make us his royal heirs.
He brings us into being out of nothing, and he gives us himself as our food and drink.
We were nothing, and he welcomes us as his children.
He brings us into being out of nothing, and he clothes us in his own image and dignity.
We were nothing, and he has given us life, salvation and holiness.
He brings us into being out of nothing, and he has visited us with his mercy.
And so, then, for US to turn to give the hungry food and drink, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, visit prisoners and welcome strangers is NOTHING compared to what God has done for us.
For us to do any of these things is a bare shadow cast by the light of God’s goodness shining upon our own nothingness.
However, to refuse to help those who are in need is to turn our backs on all the wonders God has done for us.
Even if we believe we are Christians— even if we believe we have personally accepted Christ as Lord and Savior— but we do nothing for the needy, then Christ describes himself in today’s Gospel as sending us off into the devil’s eternal fire.
Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
We don’t have to do evil in order to deserve eternal punishment.
If we merely forget to do good for others, Christ will dismiss us to eternal fire.
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.
The consolation in this Gospel is that Christ counts service we give to the needy as service to Christ himself— even if we didn’t know who he was.
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine,
you did for me.’
We, whom God made from nothing, can have God himself as our banquet and everlasting royal inheritance— if we just begin to imitate his goodness by helping those in need.
Turn. Love. Repeat.