THE FINAL SURPRISE
For 20 centuries we Christians have been talking about love. We constantly repeat that love is the last criterion of every attitude and behavior. We affirm that from love will be pronounced the definitive judgment over all people, structures and realization of humanity. However with such beautiful language about love, we can frequently be hiding Jesus’ authentic message which is much more direct, simple and concrete.
It’s surprising to observe that Jesus hardly pronounced the word «love» in the Gospels. Not even in this parable that describes to us the final destiny of human beings. At the end we won’t be judged in general terms about love, but about something much more concrete: what have we done when we’ve encountered someone who needed us? How have we reacted before the problems and sufferings of concrete people whom we’ve encountered in our path?
What’s decisive in life isn’t what we say or think, what we believe or write. Nor are the beautiful feelings or sterile protests enough. What’s important is to help whoever needs us.
The majority of us Christians feel satisfied and tranquil because we’ve done nothing especially serious to anyone. We forget that, according to Jesus’ warning, we are always preparing our final failure when we close our eyes to the needs of others, when we avoid whatever responsibility isn’t in our favor, when we’re content to criticize everything without lifting a hand for anyone.
Jesus’ parable obliges us to ask ourselves very concrete questions: Am I doing something for someone? What people can I offer to help? What do I do so that a little more justice, solidarity and friendship reigns among us? What more could I do?
The last and decisive teaching of Jesus is this: God’s reign is and will always be for those who love the poor person and help him in need. This is what’s essential and definitive. One day we’ll open our eyes and discover with surprise that love is the only truth, and that God reigns where there are men and women capable of love and concerned about others.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf