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Advent – Now is the time for reflection on our blessings

 

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Thanksgiving has passed and we have entered the season of Advent, a time of reflection and  preparation to celebrate the Lord’s birth and to prepare ourselves not only for Christmas but for the time when Our Lord will call us individually home and hold us responsible for the lives He has blessed us with.  Whenever I reflect on my own personal death and judgment I can’t help but reflect on the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, versus 31-46.

The Judgment of the Nations

 “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.”

These are strong words to hear, there are only two choices, heaven or hell, and ultimately it is up to us to make the choice.  Do we choose to help those in need, to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, or visit the ill and the imprisoned? 

Or do we choose to be selfish and ignore those in need, caring only for our own personal wants?  Forgetting the blessings we have come from God and not ourselves?  This is not meant to be a chastisement or to plant fear in your hearts but simply an opportunity to reflect on your blessings this past year.  Which category do you think you fall into and are you comfortable where you are?  The generosity from those of you who support our work in Haiti over whelms us and we thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts and as I’ve said many times, you are in our prayers daily.  None of this is possible without you.

Wishing you all the joys of the Holiday Season and hope you can find time in your busy, hectic schedules for yourselves, time to relax, time to find peace in your life, and time to reflect on your many blessings.

 

Art