THE JUDGMENT (Scripture Reading)
'THEN shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee ? or thirsty, and gave thee drink ?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in ? or naked, and clothed thee ?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
"OF all the parables of Jesus, there is none more solemnly impressive. Behold the ground of judgment! This new Messiah would be bound to his fellow-men by ties so vital that every kind deed or every neglect toward the least would be as toward himself. Secure from want ourselves we grow unmindful; we turn the dull ear; we are absorbed in our cares; we forget the divine message, "Inasmuch as ye did it not. . . ." Unconscious evil and very conscious virtue say in surprise, "When saw we thee an hungered . . . and did not minister unto thee?" But fortunately there is unconscious good also; this renders pure service with no selfish alloy; it shines by its own light, without any painstaking of pouring in oil, or trimming the lamp. It says in equal surprise, "When saw we thee an hungered and fed thee ?" And a voice as full of tenderness as the heart of God, says, " Come, ye blessed of my Father, . . . Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."