Monday 1st week of Lent
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' 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."
In my youth Lent was about giving up meat, Friday devotions and stations of the Cross, prayer and penance (confession). These were good things but they now seem to be ends in themselves rather than means to an end. Duty but no real conversion of heart. Kind of like going to Mass without participating in the Mass.
Imagine on the day of judgement finding ourselves on the Lord's left (goats) despite following all of the above. Why? Because we failed to feed the hungry and satisfy the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the imprisoned. We did not welcome the stranger but built walls instead.
I imagine the conversation might be somewhat like this.
'But Lord...' we will argue...'there were dogmas, anethemas, rules to follow...they didn't believe in you...we were fighting for you'.
And He replies: 'Did I ask you to fight for me or to love for me?' (love one another as I have loved you).
Lent invites us to pause, maybe think less ABOUT Jesus and think more LIKE Jesus. Holy Spirit give us the wisdom to know the difference. Peace.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.