…And Then He Shall Answer Them….

 “For I say, by the grace that is given me, to all that are among you, not to be more wise than it behoveth to be wise, but to be wise unto sobriety, and according as God hath divided to every one the measure of faith.  For as in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office:  So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”  Romans 12:3-5

Recently, I attended a meeting in another city about a one-hour highway drive from my town. The meeting had an early morning start so I was already grumbling about having to get up early in the morning. I mumbled to myself that it would throw my whole day off since my normal routine would be disturbed. Since the drive to and from the meeting, including the time spent at the meeting, would take up most of my day, I was anticipating a large workload when I returned to the office next morning. I had not even started sipping my first cup of coffee and I was already in a foul mood.

The drive was uneventful. I guess that could be considered a win, but I was so focused on feeling foul that I missed the beautiful countryside and pastoral fields along the way. I spent most of the drive with my head buried in my cell phone and not making much conversation with the other occupants in the car who were joining me for the same meeting. I dozed off for several minutes a few times as well. I guess I can call that another win.

We arrived at the meeting with a few minutes to spare. We rushed in and shortly thereafter the meeting began. The meeting went well, but I was getting hungry and I was looking forward to some lunch. The magic hour finally arrived and a group of us decided to walk a block and grab some take-out lunch to bring back to the meeting. Again I mumbled that I was going to have to eat some take-out rather than the healthy lunch I would normally bring to the office. I was also frustrated at having to walk a long block, on a very hot humid day, to grab some food. I felt foul again.

Once we arrived at the small take-out shop, we got in line and started to order. I was the first one from our group there so I got to go first. Another win for me. Once my order was delivered I stood to the side and waited for the rest of the group. As I waited, I could smell the wonderful aroma of my pulled-pork wrap and potato wedges. I could not wait to get back, but I had to suffer another long hot and humid walk back. I was hungry, tired and impatient. I went into a deeper foul mood. That is when I noticed two young men slowly walking to the front of the shop.

One was walking unsteady on his feet. The other was walking slowly behind him. To my surprise, they plopped themselves down right in front of the shop! Right next to the doors. I also noticed that they were dressed shabbily and were filthy. One simply stretched himself out on the sidewalk; and looked like he was going to sleep. He looked like he may have been under the influence of something. It was very hot and humid outside, and so the other one started to take off his well worn shoes and pull off his filthy socks! Goodness that looked disgusting. He simply sat there after taking off his socks and started staring out into the street. I was grumbling under my breath, “What a waste”. I called a few of my office mates over to have a look. I commented how silly they both looked. I was feeling smug. Then it hit me. When we go out they will most likely hit me up for money, probably for their alcohol or drugs. With that thought, I started planning my escape route out of the shop so that I would not have to walk close to the men.

Exactly as I had planned, I waited for another patron to open the door, which now separated the men and my route and I quickly stepped away from the men and started my walk back to the meeting. Another win! As I did so, I noticed that one of my office mates stopped and told me to wait a minute. Goodness, my escape was stalled. There I stood close by the two men and one of them was now looking over. The door was now closed and so there was no obstacle between us. Then I noticed my office mate turn around and start walking towards the men. What is she doing I thought to myself. Is she crazy? When she got to the men, she bent down and asked the one in bare feet if he or his friend were hungry. She offered her complete lunch to him. He looked at her and smiled. He said no, and politely thanked her very much for her gesture. She bid him a good day and started to walk back with the group.

I had, in that one instance, sold my soul for 30 pieces of silver.

Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting. Mathew 25:44-46

Oh my Lord, have mercy on my soul!

Copyright 2016, Luciano Corbo

Luciano Corbo

Luciano Corbo

Luciano Corbo holds a Master of Arts - Integrated Studies from Athabasca University. His major interests are Culture, Work, Organizations and Leadership, within a context of Catholic Social Teaching Principles. He writes from Canada.

2 responses to “…And Then He Shall Answer Them….”

  1. mikem says:

    Very touching, my brother. I understand what you went through completely. I believe at some time or another, we all fall short of the glory of God and ignore those in need. We assume way too much about their situation and pre-judge them. I have done that on my former life as a self-centered, “all about me”, poor excuse for a man of God. Thank you, God for the conscious you gave me to remind me that it was for such as these two men that the kingdom of God is meant. I pray that I will not turn away ever again and will reach out to a brother or sister in need. And I pray that my moods will be positive and full of the light of Christ’s heart so as to be Christ to another. Great message here, Luciano. Peace, my brother.

    • Luciano Corbo says:

      Greetings to you brother! Your comment is well thought out and articulated. WE all go down that road. I hope that more and more of us realize that we ARE going down that road and walk back to the straight and narrow. God Bless brother!

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