Of late I have been thinking of quotes from the Bible that have had an impact on my life.
This quote from Matt 25:36 ‘I was in prison and you came to see me’ always says a lot to me because I visit the prison each week.
Whether Jesus was using it as an example or not, I take it literally.
And I think well this is something that I am doing anyway.
Then it is verse 40 that makes all us sit up and reflect and be on our guard in a sense. ‘When you did it to one of these you did it to me!’
This is an amazing statement by Jesus. It reminds us that we have always got to look for the Jesus in everyone.
But I must admit that I don’t find it difficult to do, at the prison, with the prisoners.
They are appreciative of our presence there each week, they are respectful, courteous and willing to be involved in what we are doing, especially Mass.
When making the connection between Verse 40 and the title to this article, I refer to a story that I read recently.
On a crowded London commuter train, an early morning rider shoved and insulted a fellow passenger who got in his way.
Nothing became of it but later that day, a business manager sent a quite message to his friends, “Guess who just showed up for a job interview?”
Imagine walking into a job interview only to discover that the person who greets you is the one you had shoved and sworn at earlier that day!
Would you even sit down for the interview? Hope he didn’t recognise you? Or hope he had a forgiving heart?
The situation does emphasise that it was bad behaviour and is not to be tolerated.
I have thought of the situation with road rage and unfortunately it seems to be on the rise.
But someone could be so outraged that they intimidate another driver, run them off the road then storm up to the car to hurl abuse to be greeted with the face of someone they know very well!
Our behaviour, our response, our conduct and approach to everyone should be the same because you never know?
Our simple solution is to only see the face of Jesus in everyone we meet, then we never have to worry about awkward moments.
If it is not Jesus then who might it be?
“When we help or hurt another, Jesus takes it personally.”
Fr Michael Morley