(St. Matthew 25:31-46)
One of the important things that Christ teaches us through His message is that whatever we do to the next person, we do the same to Christ also. And it brings up the important fact that the true Christian is the one who sees Christ in everyone. All are created in the image and likeness of God; we are all (or at least strive to be) living icons of Christ. And it’s when we recognise that image of Christ in everyone (including our ‘enemies’) that we gain a step closer to residing in the mansions of the Father that have been prepared for us.
The next time that you set out to destroy someone’s reputation, break someone’s heart, show indifference and even ignorance toward a person, or maliciously gossip about someone, remember that Christ says that you’re doing exactly the same thing to Him! And whatever you do wrong to the next person will count against you when the Righteous Judge returns. We Christians can sometimes be judgemental toward those around us (both in and out of the Church), and yet we don’t stop to think that this will reflect on Christ Himself. We take the duty of the Judge and make judgement against the Saviour. We really need to see that icon of Christ in everyone no matter who they are.
We also need to ACT as Christians, and what this means is pouring out your heart and resources to those less fortunate around us. Great and Holy Lent is a time for repentance, change, and renewal in our lives. It’s also a time to evaluate what we have done in terms of caring for our neighbour. Use this time leading toward Holy Pascha to do something about ACTING like an Orthodox Christian, rather than merely thinking like one.