As St Francis lay dying he turned to those around him and reminded them, “I have done what was mine to do, may you also do what is yours to do. Let us begin again, for up to now we have done nothing!”
The word of Jesus the Christ is a command to love.
ln Mother Teresa's words: “The worst disease in the world today is the feeling of being unwanted, and the greatest evil is lack of love. What the poor need even more than food, clothes, and shelter, is to be wanted.”
The words of Christ are as relevant today as ever. We might put them as follows; The King will say to those on his left: 'Depart from me, for I was hungry, hungry for a smile, and all I got from you was sour looks.
I was hungry for a word of encouragement, but all you did was criticise me.
I was hungry for a word of appreciation, but not a morsel did I receive.
'I was thirsty, not for drink, but for a word of recognition, but all you did was nag and criticize.
I was thirsty for a sign of friendship, but you ignored me.
I was thirsty for a little companionship, but you never gave me a drop.
I was a stranger, and you refused to have anything to do with me.
I was naked, not because I lacked clothes, but because I lacked self-worth, and you refused to cover me.
I was stripped of self- confidence, and you made me feel the chill wind of disapproval.
I was naked from the loss of my good name through a story that wasn't true, and you refused to clothe me with the garment of truth.
'I was sick, not in body, but with doubt and worry, and you never even noticed.
I was wounded by failure and disappointment, and you couldn't care less.
I was sunk in depression, desperately needing the medicine of hope, and all you did was blame me.
I was a prisoner of loneliness, and you gave me the cold shoulder.
I was a prisoner of guilt, and you could have set me free by forgiving me, but you let me languish there to punish me.
'I was homeless, not for want of a homemade of bricks and mortar, but for the want of tenderness and affection, and you left me out in the cold.
Then the King will turn to those on his right: 'Come, you who have been blessed by my Father. For I was hungry for a smile, and you gave it to me.
I was hungry for a word of encouragement, and you praised me. I was hungry for a word of appreciation, and you thanked me.
'I was thirsty for a word of recognition, and you took notice of me. I was thirsty for a sign of friendship, and you wrote me a letter. I was thirsty for a little companionship, and you stopped to chat with me.
'I was naked for the want of self-esteem, and you covered me with self-worth.
I was stripped of self-confidence, and you dressed me in the cloak of confidence.
I was naked from the loss of my good name through a story that wasn't true, and you clothed me in the garment of truth.
'I was sick with doubt and worry, and with your cheerful attitude you lightened my burden.
I was wounded by failure and disappointment, and by your supportive attitude you healed me. I was in a pit of depression, and by your patient attitude you gave me hope.
I was a prisoner of loneliness, and through your friendship you released me.
I was a prisoner of guilt, and through your forgiveness you broke the chains of my guilt.
'I was homeless for want of tenderness and affection, and you embraced me. I was homeless for want of sympathy and understanding, and you listened to me. I was homeless from want of love and acceptance, and you took me into your heart.'
On which side will you be standing when the Lord calls your name?