He is in you
He is in I
Let us come together
Let our hearts beat
To the rhythm
of the One
Where the love
Let us just come together
and Hold Hands
"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.'" Matthew 25:40
In this little excerpt, Jesus teaches a very profound lesson that can help us better understand our relationship with others. This passage within its context is very hard to digest, because it presents a very graphic account of a Judge that will separate its creation and judge it harshly. The type of imagery that can very easily upset someone who does not know the actual teaching of the Church on God as being Love. However, if we look deeper into the characteristics of this judgement which Jesus describes, we can actually learn many things about ourselves and our relationship with God.
First, we must see the implication of Jesus declaring that anything we do towards anyone, even if he's one of the least, we actually do to Jesus. To do so, we can look at other statements where Jesus declares who he really is and his mission. A clear example is in St. John's chapter 14:6, where "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth and the life.'" Which means that He is the One Who Is, as God named himself to Moses in the book of Exodus; and because it is so, this means that Jesus is the one who is One with the Father, one with God, for he is God, and comes to show us the way towards that unity, "so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us" and later on the same chapter, "so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one" (John ch. 17: 22). My purpose in quoting these passages is to show that Jesus has made two very powerful claims: that he is the Truth and that Truth dwells in every one.
Another aspect worth mentioning lies earlier in the passage, when Jesus declares to the righteous that they have inherited the kingdom because they clothed Him when He was naked, gave Him food when He starved, etc. Yet, the righteous are amazed at the words of Jesus, for they do not remember ever clothing Jesus Himself, but He confirms to us that anytime we loved any of our fellow beings, we loved Him. Now what does this tell us about God? It undoubtedly means that God is not a foreign being that is disconnected from our affairs, but the complete opposite. He is claiming that God dwells within everyone, even the least. Even the prisoner, the thief, the murderer and the saint. This already must penetrate our soul, for how many times did we seek to hurt another? Or did we kill our brother with our rancorous comment? How many times have we ignored the homeless, and being afraid of their appearance neglected him compassion, mercy, and love, without knowing that God was calling from the depths of his soul, while giving us a wonderful opportunity to be in communion with Him through our brothers? This should also make us question the dignity with which we treat each other. Not seeing them as an animal, an obstacle or a thing. But instead, with faith, seeing him as a temple of the Holy Spirit. As a fellow which shares with us the experience of God, and no matter how sinful this soul may be, deep within, it is only God that allows him to be.
Second. It is also important that after we recognize our unity with each other, a union only possible through God. We must now know that we are not going to be judged by accomplishments, entrepreneurial exploits, political ideas, athletic records, or any of the sort. But the only measurement of judgement will be the love we shared with each other, and ultimately with God. As St. John of the Cross beautifully put it, "in the evening of life we will be judged on love alone." And in this parable that Jesus relates we can see that the unrighteous were judged by their own selfishness. Not by God. But only by their selfish actions that separated them from one another and ultimately separated them from Love.
We shall reap what we sow. Nothing more, nothing less. How can we expect to experience Heaven if our only actions are a complete contradiction to Union? How can the unrighteous expect Union if their only actions separate them from the rest and instead of harmony create dissent? Now, such separation with oneself, others and God, must be an awful experience, but it is one that we ourselves have freely chosen. It wasn't imposed on by God. He gives the possibility to experience Himself in all His majesty and splendour, yet in His Infinite love He has given us freedom! And hence the possibility of abiding in Him but not necessarily with Him. This is to me the description of hell, living in Perfection, maintained by Perfection, nourished by Perfection, yet rejecting that Perfection. Being what one is not meant to be. A lie. A lake of fire indeed.
As we can tell in Mathew's narrative, never was it suggested that God imposed a judgment on people, but that according to our actions we are judged. Isnt it necessary that for every action there be a reaction? Dont the laws we experience daily confirm that all we do has an impact? If it is so, then it us who with our own actions separate ourselves from God and undoubtedly such separation must cause a consequence. One that affects the soul in a perverse way. And it is these actions that determine our union with God. Loving actions bring us closer to Love, while hateful and selfish actions can only bring us closer to the anguish of hell. This may all seem fantastical and dogmatic, but in silence let us ask ourselves the result of actions that we have done that are perverse or selfish. Do they bring peace and harmony or isolation and frustration? Do they bring us to heaven or drown us in hell? Or what about when we perpetrate a selfless act? When we reach towards the other, seeking nothing for a reward except love itself. Doesn't such action produce an indescribable joy?
Anyways, many things could be discerned from this passage, however my intention is to point out the union that Jesus is describing between us all by confirming that God lives in all and watches all. And because God is God, and he lives in us, every human being deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and reverence. Therefor, we must constantly remind ourselves that we manifest our love for God not through our pretty thoughts but by our behavior towards His creation. And it is this behavior itself that will either chain us in the lake of fire or free us in the Infinite ocean of Love.
Written by Andres Angulo