Day 6: Called By Name

BY WINDI MITCHELL | February 19th, 2024
Today’s readings

In this week’s Gospel from Matthew (25:31–46), we hear the last parable that Jesus shares right before his Passion begins. It is a powerful and thought-provoking story that affirms an essential truth: Jesus is present in all people, but we have a special responsibility to recognize him in those who are impoverished or suffering. Moreover, the hallmark of this scripture is that it encourages us to respond to others with love, tolerance, charity and compassion. 

The fundamental message of this gospel draws me back to a moment during Advent sitting in pews with my students at Young’s Chapel CME Church. We are patiently awaiting the start of a Christmas Pageant that will be performed by the children whom we serve weekly at a local daycare center. My eyes are drawn to the banners that are flanking the walls of the church bearing all the different names for the Son of Man: Jesus is Lord, Prince of Peace, Lion of Judah, Rock of Salvation. My mind immediately begins to recall the lyrics from a song by Fred Hammond: “Bread of life sent down from glory, Many things you were on earth, A Holy King, a carpenter, You are the Living Word.”

The banners at Young’s Chapel CME Church, photographed by the author.

As the young children begin to process down the aisle towards the altar I am overwhelmed with feelings of love, gratitude and the knowledge that Christ is very near. This moment of consolation is strengthened even more when I turn to look at my students. For months, they have faithfully served these children whom they know by their names: Dominic, Trinity, Delilah, Mayson. They have answered the call to show mercy to these living members of the body of Christ. The lyrics continue on in my mind, “Awesome ruler, gentle Redeemer, God with us, the Living Truth, And what a friend we have in you, You are the Living Word.” 

Jesus reminds us today of our ability to access him in our everyday lives: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). In light of this message, who would you consider the least in your midst? What is a small act of mercy that someone performed for you? What can you do today to help someone you know? 

Song for reflection by Fred Hammond: “You are the Living Word”

2 replies
  1. sonja
    sonja says:

    Who would you consider the least in your midst?
    The least for me are able bodied men and women who beg outside our supermarkets for money. They don’t want food. They don’t visit the soup kitchens. They just want money for doing no work.

  2. Mary
    Mary says:

    The least among us are too plentiful to list. But in Lent, I try to be extra mindful. We donated a grocery gift card to our local St. Vincent de Paul box after Mass. A small gesture, but hopefully it helps someone who is in need.


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