March 6, 2017
Monday of the 1st Week of Lent
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who 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 drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
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.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Miguel Josemaria C. Valeroso)
Are you sheepish? It is not a compliment to be called sheepish. It is synonymous to being ashamed, awkward or uncomfortable. The readings of today inspire in us a dread of the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. We want to be on the right as the Lord’s sheep and not on the left as wild goats. And so, as His sheep, we follow the Lord and all He commands. We follow His voice along the ways of our life. We listen carefully to the soft sounds He constantly makes so we won’t get lost in this field full of noise. We want to follow the Lord as His sheep even if it is uncomfortable, awkward or even shameful.
Our world today puts a high premium on individualism and spontaneity as signs of being true to ourselves and happiness. In fact, our pursuit for happiness is oftentimes equated to having more choices instead of encouraging us to make the right choice. What happens then is we are the Lord’s sheep but also a sheep of our business, of our social action, of our family interests, of our pleasures, of the latest gadgets, of the hottest news, and of various little trifles. We are the Lord’s sheep as long as it is beneficial to us or if it does not go against ‘my own way.’ Maybe we are really a horde of wandering goats, not a flock of faithful sheep.
Pursuing the interest of our family, our business and career, and our pleasures are not necessarily evil. It is when we put these above our desire to obey the Divine Shepherd that we put ourselves in danger of getting lost. Are we sheepish as the Lord is sheepish even unto death, death on the Cross?