Ezekiel 34: 11-12, 15-17
1 Corinthians 15: 20-26, 28
Matthew 25: 31-46


Research indicates that we are not very good at keeping our New Year’s resolutions. Nearly half of us will have abandoned them by the end of January. There are theories about this, we make the resolutions more out of tradition than a desire for change and in the time between Christmas and New Year when we are away from the normal pressures of life, but the strongest reason is that most of us are not accountable for following through with these resolutions.

Today is, in a way, New Year’s Eve for the Church. Next Sunday when we gather together, we begin a new liturgical year. In today’s gospel from Matthew, describing most of the corporal works of mercy, there is no doubt who we are accountable to, what our new year resolutions should be and the consequences if we don’t follow through! But just like those in the gospel, we can look for excuses. In my day-to-day life I don’t encounter many people who are literally hungry, thirsty or naked. I have the occasional friend or family member who might be sick, and I do what I can in that situation. Realistically, I can’t take on prison chaplaincy anytime soon. But we are called to more than what is comfortable and convenient, we are called to actively serve the least of our brothers and sisters while also considering who around us might be hungry for a kind word, thirsty for a caring act, imprisoned by a situation or needing to be clothed with dignity.  

We are more successful with our resolutions if we see the need to change.

Alison Gore is a parishioner at St Paul of the Cross, Glen Osmond. She works in education and formation.