Commentary on the Gospel of
The King said: “When I was hungry, you fed me; I was thirsty, you gave me drink….” The response of the sheep on the right of the King is disarming: “Lord, when did we see you hungry and gave you food, thirsty and gave you drink…..?” What a disarming ignorance and innocence! And the King responds: “When you did so to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” Their only response could be shock, surprise, delight—an “aha” experience!
So, what does this episode tell us? That these righteous ones had no idea that it was the Lord they were feeding and helping when they took care of the poor and the needy in their life on earth! They didn’t do so because they “saw” the face of Christ in them; nor because the Bible or the Torah or the Koran commanded them to do so. They did so simply because it came so naturally for them to help; because their heart was full of love and it simply overflowed to the neighbours. How different and much more noble and beautiful in spirit are these souls from some of the declared saints of the Church who cared for the poor because they knew it was Jesus in disguise!
Refer back to Meister Eckhart’s homily on the truly poor in spirit, which was quoted yesterday. These people to the right of the King, who didn’t know a thing about whom they were helping, provide us with the best exemplars for the kind of poverty of spirit Eckhart senses in the Beatitudes!
Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF