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."
How often do we put our own comfort first? We sign up to volunteer at the soup kitchen on Sunday, but we avoid the homeless man on the street. We bring a bag full of old clothes to the thrift store, but gossip about anyone not wearing the latest fashions. We start Bible studies in prisons, but we fail to forgive someone who has wronged us. The Works of Mercy can become a checklist rather than a way of life. But the Gospel says that those who were set apart as the righteous ones were not aware of when they had served Jesus. They were not simply following an order to check off their list of responsibilities, but truly loving those set before them.
Think about your own life. How can we open our eyes to live more attentive to the needs of those set before us? Who are the people that God has placed in front of you? Will you ignore them? Or will you love them? Today, chose to love those around you. Open your eyes to see Jesus in all those you encounter. Pray that you may learn to love others more freely, and ask God to give you the opportunity to put that love into practice in your daily life.