Have you seen the new movie Wonder? Or read the book by RJ Palacio? Wonder is about a boy named August whose face is disfigured from birth. The story is about his experiences at middle school. It is safe to read on, even if you have not seen the movie yet.
In a world filled with unkind words and hateful actions, Wonder gives a glimpse of what can happen when people notice and treat each other as cherished human beings. “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us on occasion to greatness.” from Wonder by RJ Palacio
Maybe that is what Jesus was saying in our Gospel lesson for the week–Matthew 25:31-46. On the last day the king separates the sheep and the goats. Jesus tells those who have gone out of their way to treat others with kindness, respect and care:
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
Both the sheep and the goats ask the same question: “Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or in prison?” Jesus replies, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.‘
When did we see you, Lord? August in the movie Wonder reminds me of all the people we ignore (or want to ignore). Jesus calls us to notice and care for the lost, least, last and forgotten. When we do, we are the ones who are blessed.
To think and pray about:
* Who is sitting alone?
* Who is “invisible” in our community?
* Who needs a friend or a helping hand?
* Who is God nudging you to walk with?