Who are 'the least of these'? Our minds often go first to underpaid workers, children not getting a good education, the unemployed and homeless, the sick: the ones for whom it's easy to feel compassion. But some people seem more deserving of help than others: Some create their own problems; some are unpleasant and we'd prefer to avoid them. When there's only so much I can do, only so much I can donate, who should get it?
Jesus doesn’t make exceptions about who qualifies, he identifies himself with all of them:
The son who demands his inheritance now, blows it all, and comes back begging forgiveness and help.
The troubled teenager who is facing court proceedings for possessing illegal drugs.
The single mother who is expecting another child, and lacks resources to care for her children.
The elderly man next door who is cranky and hard to get along with.
The girl at school, uninterested in learning, who disrupts classes with unacceptable behavior.
We don’t get to choose who is worthy of our help and who isn’t — they all are the least of these, and Jesus identifies with all of them. They are everywhere every day, and they are in need. Look for them and you will see them. What can you do to help them?