Not in Vain!

November 2, 2017
Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
The Gospel Today
Matthew 25:31-46.

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. John Lester D. Cabais)

Building sand castle is one of my favorite activities whenever I am with my friends for out of town beach escapades. It gives me a sense of awe and fulfilment – or a pride perhaps, everytime we finished building one. It may not be as good as the real castle but its appearance somehow represents an authentic castle with its walls and high towers. However, since it is just made of sand, when the strong waves roll over it, the castle inevitably break down. The mighty waves will always break these sand castles no matter how many times you try to rebuild it.

The Gospel reminds us of the importance of doing good to our neighbors. By these good works and acts of mercies, we become “Christ” before them; in the midst of their needs, uncertainties, worries and helplessness. The good works can be a great aid for evangelization which bring our neighbors deeper knowledge and experience of our Lord. With these, we are building genuine heavenly investment which, unlike the sand castle, no waves can tore apart.

God wants us, in the last days, to reap the fruits of our good works here on earth. He wants us to build our castles of good works on solid rock so it will not be easily swept away. Our works are not in vain in the eyes of God. Doing good requires sacrifice but these sacrifices will not go in vain because God assures us of salvation; to be counted among the sheep!

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