February 22, 2010

Overheard in the Friary

"Fine. Don't accept help. Deny me my chance to be a good brother."

This utterance seemed to be made in all fun, but it's a serious soteriological statement. I was thinking about it in the context of the judgment scene from Matthew 25, which would have been the gospel of today's Mass were it not the feast of the Chair of Peter.

In the course of the judgment whatever charity and relief was given to the least brothers of the Son of Man becomes the criterion of salvation. Those who cared for them are saved and those who did not are damned. Many times I think we automatically interpret this gospel through our activist mentality; it is our call to rush out to serve the least of our sisters and brothers. This is certainly a good and holy inspiration, but we should also notice that sometimes it's the other way around. We all have times in our lives that are hard or parts of ourselves that our broken. Sometimes it is we ourselves who are the little ones, the least brothers and sisters of the Son of Man.

If we aren't humble enough to admit this, and humbler still to accept the help of others, we could be denying others their chance for salvation!

1 comment:

Mandrivnyk said...

Excellent point, Father.

I know I have serious issues with accepting help; it contradicts my cherished image of myself as strong and independent - and the lack of humility is bad enough. Not to mention, of course, the destructiveness of refusing help when you are, in fact, helpless.

Never thought of it from the perspective, though, of denying others.