Sheep on the Right

With the Gospel readings the past weeks talking about the end of days, we’ve reached the culmination of the Liturgical Year, and what a fitting way to celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King! The Gospel readings today provide insights into what’s important for the Lord Jesus and on how we live our lives. The judgments made by the Son of Man will be based on the acts of mercy and compassion that we’ve shown to the least ones — the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the ill, and the imprisoned. Indeed, Jesus, who suffered on the Cross, identifies Himself with the least, the lost and the last.

In the previous week’s the Parable of the Talents, the Gospel taught us that the gifts and abilities that God has bestowed on us have been given with the intention to be used for the service of others, especially the least in society. Jesus is telling us that whenever we have served these least ones, we have served Christ himself.

In my own experience, God is real and has always exceeded my own generosity; He gives cheerfully, abundantly and lovingly. This is all because He loves us unconditionally and never abandons us. He is our constant companion, always ready to assist us whenever we are in trouble. Likewise, this necessitates for us to be mindful and sensitive to the leadings of the Lord in our lives. We have to be sensitive to the Spirit to allow Him to move us, so that we can be His hands in helping others. Have you noticed it that when you pray for help and guidance, the Lord sends Angels to our aid? In a way, when we allow the Spirit to give us wisdom and discernment we can share ourselves with others because we are fully in tune with what the Lord wants us to do in particular moments. Besides unless we share ourselves with others, we can never be fully happier, right?

There’s a lot to be grateful for especially the richness of our family life, the blessings He has given us, and the peace of mind that we have, regardless of the challenges and problems that come our way. God’s abundance in giving and blessing us only shows how He loves us and that He wants us to be happy. This happiness will be complete whenever we reflect His generosity, cheerfulness, and love towards others — especially strangers. We have to demonstrate that what we have are meant to be shared whenever necessary. We have to realize that when we have that attitude of giving, we allow the Lord to use us to be His hands.

Giving generously. When we give, the Lord wants us to include those people outside our family and friends; He wants us to be generous as well to those who are most in need of help as these verses clarify,

‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Mt. 25: 40)

Being generous doesn’t exactly mean just simply giving, it means, in a way that shows a readiness to give more of something, especially money, than is necessary or expected. When situations arise such that our generosity is required, as followers of Jesus it is our turn to demonstrate that kind of generosity to the least, the last and the lost.

Giving cheerfully. The King will reward us when we give cheerfully and without reservation. Way back in college I knew of this classmate who was so generous with others, and he was always looking for ways to help and to give. He wasn’t selfish, he was such a caring person. His attitude simply inspires! And what a way God returns the blessings to him: while spending more time to God’s work, his business has grown more than expectations!

Giving lovingly. We can’t give generously unless our intention is governed by love. When our motivation is Jesus, when we see Him in the face of the poor, there can be abundant love to share with others,

“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: 35-36)

Life is complete when we are selfless and loving with others. Doing this will make others happy and the fulfillment in doing comes back to us in the form of more happiness. Thus, when we want to be happy, we only have to give more of ourselves to others. It is then when we realize that acquiring more possessions and wealth don’t bring happiness; it is when we become mindful of the needs of others and share what we have in the name of Jesus that bring us deeper joy and fulfillment. Isn’t a giving, caring and loving life more wonderful?

As we close the year, let us reflect on how we’ve lived our lives:
Are we worthy to be in the company of the “sheep on the right”?
Are we ready to meet Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King?

“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” (Ps. 23: 1)

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