When I was a child a vivid image captured my imagination. I could hear the trumpet blast, I could see the clouds parting, the Lord on his golden throne bursting into view, the glorious heavenly court around him. I trembled at the thunder of his his mighty voice, “You goats to the left, sheep to the right!”
Tremble at that! I did then, just as the top people in Jerusalem trembled in our first reading today.
Now I think about it. Yes, Jesus talked about the Day of Judgment, and about the sheep and the goats. Goats like me. He was leaving no doubt that our decisions in life do have consequences.
His decision was to live his life for others, for us. Let’s pay attention to that.
The top people for him were the bottom people for the top end of town, the snobs and the powerful. It was bad enough for them that he loved the poor, the lepers, the lost and confused, but, horror, he even loved sinners. That set the tongues wagging, and drove the religious folk to fury. Jesus loved a good meal, even a drink or two, and was not a bit fussy about the company he kept. Even a sinner like me would have been welcome.
And, guess what? He spreads his table every day, and invites you and me, and all the lost sheep who need welcome and healing to gather round that table of love and enjoy, to enjoy each other’s company, with him in our midst. This is the Eucharist.
Yes. The great judge up in the sky is the one who is inviting you to lunch. Enjoy
Jeff Foale is an Australian Passionist living in Vietnam, a former New Guinea missionary with a passion for service of the poor and refugees and who loves life in all its forms and enjoys photography.