Day 2/October 26 Devotion
Reflection by Deacon Dave Larrabee
Operations Manager at The Lamb Center in Fairfax, VA
Standing by Chris’ side as the Priest gave him his last rights, I was taken back to the way he wrestled with his faith at the Lamb Center Bible Study table, trying to reconcile Holy Scripture with his love of science. I thought he might have some questions about the Priest’s words. Chris had been ravaged by his struggle with addiction and the strain of homelessness. A few weeks later at his memorial service, a guest shared about the time Chris and other friends were walking into the grocery store to purchase “supplies.” After passing a woman at the entrance asking for money for food, Chris had mercy on her and told his companions “we need to help this woman.” “What?” was their response. “We are homeless and we should help her?” As they left, Chris gave her a little something to help her out. Come; enter into Your Father’s joy.
Matthew 25: 31-40
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
Questions to Ponder
- “Judgement” seems to have more to do with mercy than works in this parable. How might this guide us as we live out our baptism?
- In this parable, living in mercy took those on the right to the place of God’s suffering in the world. Has living in mercy taken you to the cross in human lives?
- What relationship exists between God’s suffering in the world and the choices we might make when we vote?
Silence for Reflection
God of Mercy, instill in us Your hunger and thirst for righteousness. You invite us into the joyful journey of merciful living. Grow in us your compassion for those without food to eat, water to quench their thirst, those who are rejected and abandoned, those who are without clothing and medical care, and those who are victims of systemic racism and mass incarceration.
God of Justice, guide our leaders at all levels of government to seek justice for those who are oppressed and to love mercy for those who are unjustly accused, suffering from mental illness or carrying the burden of unimaginable trauma. Guide them in enacting policies that address world hunger, clean water and a healthy environment, homelessness and poverty, health care and racial unrest.
God of Discernment, during this period of global pandemic, protect all those exercising their civic duty of voting. Grant us wisdom in voting for leaders who will see Your image in the face of those who are hungry and thirsty, those who are strangers or lack daily necessities, those without health care and those who are incarcerated.
We pray all this in the name of your Son, Christ Jesus, Amen.