1st week in Lent, Monday — 2nd March 2020 — Mt 25,31-46
Harbinger of God’s kingdom
This parable is grouped with others which appear to speak of the temporal absence and then return of the figure who will render judgment. This too seems to be a parable concerning the return of the Son of Man, Jesus himself. The image of the Son of Man coming in glory reflects imagery from Daniel 7,13-14 and recalls other places in Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus foretells the coming judgment (24,30-31; 26,64). The criteria by which all will be judged are crystal clear. Jesus has already said that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20,28). Indeed, he exhibited throughout in his ministry, his care and service to the poor and the marginalized. So, in the final judgment, it is clear that Jesus has demanded nothing for himself. He has expected only that we serve him by serving the “least of these.” In this way, the Lord’s teaching on the final judgment challenges every disciple of Jesus to be a harbinger of God’s kingdom in a broken world.