Discipleship Habit #5: Serve the Least Regularly; Week 24 - Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of Mine, you did for Me
Discipleship Habit #5: Serve the Least Regularly
Week 24 Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me.
Lord Jesus, we praise You. You are all-powerful, yet still humble and compassionate.
Just as You did for Your disciples at the Last Supper, You bend low in humble service to wash our feet, and invite us to follow Your example of sacrificial love. Forgive us for the times we’ve failed to see that the poor are created in Your image. In Your Scripture You tell us, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” (Matthew 25:40) Thank You for coming to us in the distressing disguise of the poor and showing us such a concrete way to give You our love. Help us to know that You long to love the poor through us. Help us to love You by loving the lonely, the suffering, and the outcast. Give us the desire to serve You in the least of our sisters and brothers. Jesus, we trust in You. We make this prayer in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
We practice the habits of discipleship to become more like Jesus. If we want to be more like Jesus, we seek to do what He did, and to value what He valued. The habits of discipleship help us find our essential God-given identity. Our fifth habit of discipleship is to “Serve the Least Regularly”.
Who are the least? Not much has changed since Jesus’ time. Our world is still filled with people who are marginalized, oppressed, lonely, grieving, physically ill, mentally ill, addicted, hungry, living in poverty, and dying. We find them in our own neighborhoods, in nursing homes, in prisons, in our work places, in hospitals, in unwanted pregnancies, in the pew at church…
We follow Jesus to the broken places of life because that is where He spends most of His time. In His earthly life and ever since, He is constantly trying to bring the Good News of His life and teaching to the people who need it the most. Jesus loves and serves them so, as His disciples, we seek to love and serve them.
Name someone who you personally know who might be considered “least”. How might you, in union with Jesus, seek to love and serve them?
Reflect on Scripture: Matthew 25:31 - 46
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit upon His glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before Him. And He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.
Then the king will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who 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 drink, a stranger and you welcomed Me, naked and you clothed Me, ill and you cared for Me, in prison and you visited Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You ill or in prison, and visit You?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’
Then He will say to those on his left, “Depart from Me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink, a stranger and you gave Me no welcome, naked and you gave Me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for Me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to Your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for Me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
As you read these passages from Scripture, what strikes you?
Who does Jesus say will inherit the kingdom and why?
According to these passages, who does Jesus refer to as the least?
How does Jesus respond to the hurting, the hungry, the sick, and the broken?
Who are the least in your midst?
How does Jesus invite you to change your life through this Scripture passage?
What are you going to do differently this week?
Make us worthy, Lord,
to serve others throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger.
Give them through our hands this day their daily bread,
and by our understanding love,
give peace and joy.
St. Teresa of Calcutta