Gospel: Mt 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his angels, he will sit on the throne of his Glory. All the nations will be brought before him, and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will he do with them, placing the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
The King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, blessed of my Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me into your house. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me.‘
Then the righteous will ask him: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food; thirsty and give you drink, or a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to see you?‘ The King will answer, ‘Truly, I say to you: whenever you did this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.‘
Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Go, cursed people, out of my sight into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you did not give me anything to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome me into your house; I was naked and you did not clothe me; I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.‘
They, too, will ask: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked or a stranger, sick or in prison, and did not help you?‘ The King will answer them: ‘Truly, I say to you: whatever you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do for me.‘
And these will go into eternal punishment, but the just to eternal life.
As we remember and pray for our departed brothers and sisters today, death could be the best point to reflect on. Death is a destiny. When we came into the world, death has become natural to man. No man lives forever in this world. “There is a time to be born and a time to die“ (Eccle. 3:2). Of course, we do not have to forget that death is penalty for sin. “As sin came into the world through one man and death through sin. And so death spread to all men because all men sinned“(Rom. 5:12). Death reminds us of our limitedness. We have only one life, lived in a given time. But death is not simply an end of earthly journey, it is also a passing to another life, the life eternal promised by Jesus. The promised life has to be worked here on earth. What then shall we do to have a happy death?
An anonymous author said: “When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you will be smiling and everyone around you will be crying.“ This could be the measure of how we lived our life when we face death. The gospel reminds of Winston Churchill. He said, “We make a living by what we get: We make a life by what we give.“ Our gospel today confirms this, “Truly I say to you, just as you did it for one of the least of theses brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me.“