Why “The Least of These?”
I think when most people hear this passage from Mark, they think of the poor, the down trodden, the lepers, the forgotten. But as a parent, when I hear the words “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,” I can’t help but think of my children.
As parents, we have the daily opportunity to serve our Lord through the spiritual and corporal acts of mercy we shower on our children: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, giving home to the homeless, visiting the sick, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving offences willingly, comforting the afflicted, praying for the living and the dead.
I believe our challenge as parents is to love and serve our children in such a way that at the end of time we can be accounted among the righteous who say, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”