One Minute Reflection – 7 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent – Ezech 34:11-16, Matt hew 25:31-46 and the Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas OP (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus and Doctor Communis
“Amen I say to you, as long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for Me.” – Matthew 25:45
REFLECTION – “Do you suppose that charity is not an obligation but voluntary? That it is not a law but merely a counsel? I should like it to be so, too and would gladly think so. But God’s left hand gives me cause for alarm, the place where He has set the goats to whom He addresses His reproaches, not because they stole, plundered, committed adultery or perpetrated other such faults but because, they did not honour Christ in the person of His poor!
If you are willing to listen to me, then, O servants of Christ, His brothers and co-heirs, I say ,that we should visit Christ while there is an opportunity, take care of Him and feed Him. We should clothe Christ and welcome Him. We should honour Him, not only at our table, like some; not only with ointments, like Mary Magdalene; not only with a sepulchre, like Joseph of Arimathea; nor with things which have to do with His burial, like Nicodemus… nor finally, with gold, incense and myrrh, like the Magi.
But, as the Lord of all “desires mercy and not sacrifice” (Mt 9,13) and as compassion is better than tens of thousands of fat rams, let us offer Him this mercy through the needy and those who are at present cast down to the ground. Let us do this, so that, when we depart hence, they may “welcome us into the eternal habitations” (Lk 16,9), in the same Christ our Lord, to whom be glory forever.” – St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 14, on Love for the Poor, 27, 28, 39-40).
PRAYER – O God, our Saviour, direct our minds by Your heavenly teaching, so that the Lenten fast may profit us. And may the intercession of St Thomas Aquinas, Your humble servant, aid us in our need. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.