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Lenten Reflection: Recognizing Jesus in Others

Published: February 27, 2023

Written by Sr. Margaret Kuntz, ASCJ

'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.' (Mt. 25:35)

In today’s Gospel, we get a glimpse of the final judgment seen through the eyes of two groups—the goats and the sheep. The question at hand for both groups concerns living the works of mercy: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, comforting the sick, and visiting the imprisoned.

The sheep find it hard to believe they performed these works of mercy for Jesus and the goats can’t believe they didn’t. That’s when Jesus the Good Shepherd clues them in—when you did it for the least of my brothers, you did it for me. He then welcomes the sheep into the everlasting joy of heaven and banishes the goats to everlasting punishment.

It is easy to do these works of mercy for the least of our brothers and sisters when there is a major crisis when others are doing so, when the need is obvious, and when the need is simple. In these instances, we can see Jesus in those in need. But it is harder to do so for the unknown, in little things, and when the need is not obvious; it is very easy to miss the Good Shepherd at these times.

This week let us ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Who are the least in my everyday world?
  • What can help me to recognize Christ in everyone and in every event?

Sr. Margaret Kuntz is director of the Office of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida.

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