The more I learn about Jesus, the more I catch myself in my thinking. I realize that when I judge or reject another, I am rejecting Jesus. As I love and respect another, I am honoring Jesus.
Can we see beyond our weaknesses to see the Divine inside ourselves? Can we look beyond the outward appearance of another to see Jesus? Can we look at the elderly, the sick, and the despised as though they were Christ himself?
Mother Teresa said, "I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene...I serve because I love Jesus."
In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus describes the day when He will return and will separate the people of the earth as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. He says to those who loved and served others, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Mother Teresa said, “I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?”
We see our lives not as a sacrifice but as a sacrament when we see Jesus in those we serve. In our culture, I would suggest that "the least of these" often include those who are poor, disabled, sick, or rejected. The Savior ministered to people whom many despised. He loved everyone--especially those in great need--but spoke harshly against those who were prideful and conceited.
When we assist those who are poor or sick, we are serving Jesus. When we visit one who suffers with a disabling mental illness, we visit Jesus. When we minister to the dying, we minister to Jesus. Our lives are profoundly changed—and blessed—when we see Jesus in everyone—especially those who are not always easy to love.
As we remember that every person is a beloved child of God, it becomes easier to love others. As we realize that we are all a part of one great family, we are no longer strangers. We no longer view people as rich and poor, black and white, worthy and unworthy but as magnificent creations of God. We feel a sense of inter-connectedness and interdependence. Mother Teresa said,” If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
© Carol Brown