Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

the separation of the goats from the sheep-1"WHERE IS GOD NOW?" 

The modern answer, from the likes of Nietzsche, Freud, Marx, Camus,and Beckett, is that the landlord has abandoned us, leaving us free to set our own rules: "DEUS ABSCONDITUS" (the missing God). In places like Auschwistz and Rwanda, we have seen living versions of those parables, graphic examples of how some will act when they stop believing in a sovereigh landlord. If there is no God, as Dostoevsky said, then anything is permissible.

The parable of The Sheep and the Goats is the last parable, and it is as potent and disturbing as anything Jesus ever said; it has a logical connection with the four parables that precede it. The issue is the absentee landlord, the missing God:

First, it gives a glimpse of the landlord's return or judgment day, when there will be hell to pay - literally. The departed One will return, this time in power and in glory, to settle accounts for all that has happened on earth.

Second, the parable refers to the meantime, the centuries-long interval we live in now, the time when God seems absent. God has not absconded at all. Rather, He has taken on a disguise, a most  unlikely disguise of the stranger, the poor, the hungry, the prisoner, the sick, the ragged ones of earth :"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it for Me". If we cannot detect God's presence in the world it may be that we have been looking in the wrong places...

"We are a contemplative order", Mother Teresa told a rich American visitor who could not comprehend her fierce commitment to the dregs of Calcutta. "First we meditate on Jesus, and then we go out and look for Him in disguise" (Philip Yancey).

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