Meatfare Sunday, also referred to as the Sunday of the Last Judgment, announces that we are one week away from the beginning of Lent. The Gospel reading provides us with many examples where Christ has illustrated that when our brothers and sisters are in need and we fail or refuse to help them, we are failing and refusing to help Christ. “Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”
St. John Chrysostom in his Homily LXXIX on Matthew 25 says… “And in return for what do they receive such things? For the covering of a roof, for a garment, for bread, for cold water, for visiting, for going into the prison. For indeed in every case it is for what is needed; and sometimes not even for that. For surely, as I have said, the sick and he that is in bonds seeks not for this only, but the one to be loosed, the other to be delivered from his infirmity. But He, being gracious, requires only what is within our power, or rather even less than what is within our power, leaving to us to exert our generosity in doing more.”
God asks us to provide for our Church through the Stewardship of Time, Talents and Treasures but God also reminds us that to be gracious “requires only what is within our power” – we must give freely from our heart, unconditionally and in any way that we can to help our Church, those in need and the many ministries that our parish provides.