Monday of the First Week
Jesus Christ, let my behaviour today not be modelled on that of the world but of on the new mind which you have given me. Philip Harrison SJ
Entering into Prayer
Feel free to choose an exercise from the beginning of the retreat or another way to enter your time of prayer.
Today's Scripture (Matthew 25:31-46)
'When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me 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 nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.'
Food for Thought
We all aspire to be holy but the pathway to holiness can sometimes be covered over by brambles. We are offered so many ways to achieve holiness that it becomes easy to neglect the one way which the Lord offers us right at the heart of our lives. Being holy can never just mean following a set of laws, valuable though those laws may be to guide our lives. It must also mean being attentive to those around us, in our families, our workplaces and our communities. For it is there that we encounter those who in need of our care and attention, it is there alone that we will be known by God as his holy people. God would never put holiness out of our reach.
Suggestions for Prayer
This passage would have appealed to Ignatius because it brings together two dimensions of spirituality which he cared about deeply, the divine majesty of the Lord and attention to those in need. In fact, he writes that in becoming friends of the poor, we become friends of the Eternal King. That a king could be a pauper or a pauper a king seems like a contradiction, yet we are invited to believe that we meet Christ the King in the poor.While we often think about the poor as particular marginalized groups in society, we probably do not need to go that far to find someone in need of our attention. Perhaps there is someone close to us who needs to be treated with all the respect and love they deserve.
How are you going to respond today?
Today, can you find a small way to treat a friend or family member so they felt as though they were royalty?
Image for the day
Do you find this painting awe-inspiring, frightening, beautiful, or boring? Why?
Are there times in your life when you reflect on what will happen when we leave this earth?
What do you think Jesus would say to you about how you live your life now?
Yes, here I am Lord, to have a few minutes quiet time with you. It is good to be here and to think a bit about my day...
A Simple Awareness Examen adapted by Ruth Casey fCJ