Since October 2008, a blog written by Steve Albert.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020
The Sheep and the Goats (a tale for our modern age)
There's a lot of talk these days about wearing masks, individual freedom, etc. Some of that talk comes most loudly from people who identify as Christians. Given that point, maybe a reading from the Gospel would be a good idea. Hi-lights by me.
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31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
(From the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 31 to 46; NIV edition)
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In today's world, the "least of my brothers and sisters" could be the poor, the immigrant (legal or otherwise), the minority, the Muslim, the mentally ill. It could be that person fighting cancer who risks their own health to get to the supermarket once a week, relying on others to also wear a mask to keep them safe. It's anyone and everyone on the margin and in need of assistance. It's a bit of an inconvenient truth really in this day and age of the "me": The duty of every Christian is to see God in "the least". Furthermore, if we truly want a "Godly government" and "Godly leaders" maybe these entities should spend less time catering to those who have (and who coincidentally donate campaign cash) and more time leading by example and taking care of those who do not have...in other words, the "least of my brothers and sisters".
Now, is it truly that much of a burden to wear a mask at the supermarket?