Sunday, September 27, 2015

Spirituality: Matthew’s Last Judgment. “One of the Least”by Jerry Ryan

Total strangers will go out of their way to assist me, demonstrating spontaneous compassion toward this wreck of a human being wandering the streets. It has occurred to me that when people do such things for me, they are really doing them for Jesus, even though they most likely never think of that. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus will gather all mankind at the Last Judgment and judge each according to his or her charity toward the least, for whatever act is done or not done for them concerns Jesus personally. So in this broken person that I have become, I’m also an occasion for people to help Jesus and thus secure sternal life in his kingdom. This is something I never could have accomplished otherwise. It is a silent yet real mystery. It sometimes strikes me as very wonderful. I’d never imagined myself becoming the presence of Jesus in this way. This is all the more humbling since I myself used to be tempted to look away from the aged and infirm. I thought I had all the answers then, looking in from the outside. But when you are stripped of everything that constituted your life, all these answers seem absurd, arrogant, even obscene.

Source: Commonweal, February 20, 2015, page 31. In this essay, Ryan identifies himself as a handicapped seventy-seven year-old, “useless, limited, and dependent,” because of a recent fall in which he broke a hip and a wrist.