How would we respond to these strangers?
What do we say?
In what direction do we point?
To what place can we take them?
What do we do, so that these pilgrims too may find the Christ, our Lord and Savior, our King?
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us where we can find him: He is among the poor and the suffering.
His face is seen in the faces of the lost and the lonely, among the forgotten.
He shares the despondency of the disenfranchised and displaced.
Christ despairs with the imprisoned.
He is the one who thirsts and hungers, crying in pain for lack of nourishment.
He shivers naked in doorways huddled against the cold.
Sick and alone He is languishes in fear and uncertainty.
It is here in the sufferings of the children of God, where we will find Christ, dwelling among these least of God’s beloved.
We will also find Jesus among those who care for the needs of the least of God’s children.
He is among those feeding the hungry and quenching their thirst.
Christ is found tending the sick, comforting them and calming their fears.
To the sorrowful He brings hope and peace.
He is listening to the cries the poor and suffering; ensuring them they too are beloved of God and not abandoned.
We find Jesus sharing his cloak to the naked, returning to them their dignity as equals in God’s kingdom.
He embraces the lost and lonely; leading them to places of comfort and peace; assuring them they are loved.
It is to this place where we can direct the pilgrims seeking Christ. To the heart of Jesus found in the love of God for His children. It is in these places – dark and lonely, fearful and despairing – where both the suffering and the loving dwell - that we seek and find Jesus.
Among these least of God’s beloved is where we will find the love of God – Jesus Christ. Here is where His disciples continue His mission – living as He calls us to live, loving as we are loved – completely: – without counting cost, without hesitation, without fear.
In the Other is where we make manifest God’s kingdom; working to bring His justice and peace to the world.
Jesus’ summation of the Ten Commandments, He says to us: ‘Love God above all else and love one another as we love ourselves’.
We accomplish both when we care for Jesus found in the least of God’s children. In loving the Other, we love Him and in loving Him, we love He who sent Him, God the Father.
We seek Christ in love. Love of the Other, the love we have for ourselves. And in loving Him, we find the love of God – who is love – our peace and our joy. ~Amen