Question on Mat 25 teachings

Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Matthew 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Matthew 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Matthew 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Matthew 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I have not given charity on this level. I don’t run into people who need shelter, food, drink and clothing. I’ve never visited “the sick” or the imprisoned. Does this mean I’m hell bound?

It’s not too late to get involved!
You could donate food, clothing, money and time to shelters and charities.

Many churches have food and clothing drives, esp in the fall/winter.
Shelters and food banks appreciate volunteers. Even offering time to help
advertise various ‘drives’ makes a difference.

Our church is running a food drive for a local food bank, a coat roundup for used
(and new) coats (and/or money) for a clothes bank, and a backpack/supplies for
kids through the Copper Canyon mission.

As winter progress, there may be other needs and drives to help as well.
Check your local yellow pages or call the chamber of commerce to see how and
where the need is in your community.

There are many ways to help Him through the needy. Don’t forget prayer, too!

Of course not…
Christianity is not a “bucket list” of things that have to be checked off before we “kick the bucket”…Christianity is about Love. It is about being Love in the world for:
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)
It is about an attitude, a commitment, a conversion - what we ARE not just what we do.
If we are Love in the world then we will do loving things like those listed in Mt 25. Not necessarily the exact things, but perhaps some of these same things, and perhaps some different things.

So look to Love. Love God and Love neighbor (Mt 22:36-40). Meditate on Love. Go to God in prayer and as Him to show you, to enlighten you on how He wishes you to show His Love to the world.


You could also donate magazines and movies to nursing homes, sew or buy blankets, make small gift baskets for the residents.

Go and spend time, maybe reading to them every week or so. If you can play music, many homes have at least a piano. The residents may love hearing the old hymns (and new ones, too).

Ask around at local hospitals and nursing homes how and what you can do to help out.

Something else, our church has a homebound meal plan for shut-ins. Volunteers gather at the church in teams. One cooks, the other team plates the food and drinks, and yet another delivers the food.

There are enough teams that my mil only has to help once a month or so.
If your church doesnt do or offer these things, you could ask to organise one.

You could offer to pick up a home bound parishioner and take them to church with you, or to get groceries, the library, the doctor, to see family (b/c some families don’t or can’t), or just stop in to visit with the shut in.

Hope these ideas have helped!

Thank you! I have donated items and money to various charities, but I never thought of it as being personal enough. What about visiting the imprisoned… There are so many things to do and I’m scared of some of them. I don’t even know if they allow “visitors” to prisons. And what would I do? Sorry for more questions. I just worry so much. I appreciate the poster that stated there isn’t a “list” of things to do, but I worry that I’ve done nothing.

Actually - I thought about this “prison” visiting thing as I was writing my earlier response…
Being in prison could take many forms…not just criminals in jails.
How about visiting / volunteering at nursing homes? These people are “trapped” in a sense, and many times they just love to have visitors.
“Meals on Wheels” is another good group to be involved with…delivering meals to shut ins.
The Hospice company that serves us have volunteers who will sit with my lady for a couple of hours so that I can get out of the house for awhile…
As you can see, visiting the imprisoned can take many forms.


If you’re really interested in prison ministry, call up the nearest one to you and ask what and how you can help. Each prison (or city jail, too) may have different rules, so check beforehand.

There are in-prison church services, prayer meetings, ect you could volunteer for. You could possibly do things ‘behind the scenes’ if one on one with a prisoner bothers you too much.

Again, call and ask. And remember, every little bit helps!

You must live a very secluded life, indeed, if you ahe ve never seen a homeless person. However, these people have and know just what to do with your money: Mercy Corps.

25,000 people a day die from hunger. It’s a pretty horrible way to die. You can feed a bunch of them for much less than your cable bill.

Those are lovely ideas. But those in prison–actual prison–need visitors too. We should not let imagination and unfounded fears keep us from visiting them.

Usually, church volunteers go in groups to visit the imprisoned, and you have to fill out some forms first and be approved by the prison to visit. Or, there are always people who wold appreciate just a few simple letters that express caring. We had an attorney who volunteered with death penalty cases who provided volunteers at church with the addresses of death penalty inmates who had no one at all to write to them, along with instructions on what not to say and do, etc.

Some prison inmates, both male and female, may be imprisoned for very long stretches for drug related crimes, etc and have lost all touch with family and friends and now have no one at all to talk to aside from other inmates. A visit or letter would mean the world to them, and most such non family visits would take place through a glass wall so no worries there. And in reality, an inmate is extremely unlikely to cause any harm to someone who just came to visit them. The idea that all inmates are violent, animalistic thugs waiting to beat up any and everyone they see is just false.

I believe that when Christ spoke of those in prison, he meant those in prison, and he meant for us to do that, whether or not we feel somewhat out of our element or fearful. A talk with another parishoner who does this regularly should set your mind at ease.

I wouldn’t call myself secluded, I just don’t live or work in an urban area. But thank you for the link.

Thank you to all for the great ideas and advice.

I understand–however, you may be unaware that there are homeless and near-homeless people everywhere–they don’t all pack up the car and move to downtown to beg on the street as soon as they lose their homes. It might be helpful to ask at your parish office how you can assist the homeless or near homeless in your area—you might be surprised to find out how many there are. And there are lots of ways to help the suburban poor and unemployed as well as the urban ones–assisting with a job search, donating regularly to the church food pantry or St Vincent De Paul society/offering, joining the St Vincent De Paul society if able, preparing and handing out small plastic bags of unspoilable, unmeltable food to be handed out to homeless folks by parishoners, perhaps participating in running a parish house on church property that welcomes homeless families for two weeks each (with a supervisor on site) and during this two weeks help them to find a job, housing, health care, etc.–there are lots of ways to help.

I think the bigger point is that we are called to help those in need - whatever form of help they might need.

The guy in front of you at the lunch counter is a buck short? Give it to him.
Your coworker’s car won’t start? Give him a ride.
Have an elderly family member or neighbor who is shut in? Stop by their house, see if they need anything from the store.
Is the new guy at work having trouble fitting in socially? Go out of your way to make him feel welcomed.
Big snow storm, and your neighbor is a single mom of an infant? Shovel their driveway.
Someone is carrying a heavy load? Take some of it for them.

Keep your eyes open to look for what those around you might be in need of. That’s how I read this passage.

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