What you did for the least of my brothers…

Posted by Christopher at CHRISTOPHER’S APOLOGIES
March 14, 2011

In today’s gospel reading, we see Jesus teaching the disciples about what will happen “when the Son of Man comes in his glory.” The terminology Jesus uses may be a bit confusing to us now (i.e. separating the sheep from the goats) but the message Jesus is trying to convey is quite clear: there will be a judgment that each of us will face, individually at our death (particular judgment) and universally at the time of Christ’s return (last judgment).

What Jesus does in the discourse in Matthew’s Gospel is tie judgment to feeding the hungry, providing drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned. Collectively, these acts are known as the Corporal Works of Mercy.

What I would like to do with this post is highlight someone who personified this type of virtuous living, even to the point of giving his life for it, using an article I received from Fr. John Mack. The article briefly tells the story of Fr. André Lachapelle, a Canadian priest living/working in Japan. Here is the beginning of the article:

For fifty years, Rev. André Lachapelle dedicated his life to missionary work in Japan’s Miyagi region, teaching high school and writing religious books in Japanese for his students.

Most recently, he took up a post as parish priest in the coastal town of Shiogama and also ministered to prisoners, listening to their stories and hearing their confessions.

And it was while he was rushing to assist his parishioners in the wake of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake Friday that Father Lachapelle died, the first confirmed Canadian casualty of the disaster.

That afternoon, the 76-year-old was attending a meeting of the charismatic movement at the cathedral in Sendai when the quake struck. Uninjured by the tremor, he jumped in his car and headed to Shiogama, 17 kilometres away.

“His colleagues advised him to stay in Sendai and not to go,” said Florant Vincent, a fellow priest who worked with him for decades in Japan. “But he left anyway. He said ‘I have to be with the people there.’” (READ THE REST)

That last line jumped off the page at me – “I have to be with the people there.” Wow!

Please go here to read the rest of Christopher’s post…

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