The King puts the sheep on his right hand and says this to them:
"Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."The sheep are shocked. Consulting their memory they don't ever recall seeing the King on earth:
"Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"The King replies with the famous words:
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."Here's what I'd like to note about this parable.
What's interesting is that the "sheep" don't recognize or confess Christ on earth. Not in any verbal or conscious way. The confession of Christ is behavioral, performative and non-verbal.
In fact, the confession of recognition is reversed.
What is salvific isn't a verbal or a conscious recognition of Christ on earth. The sheep don't ever recall seeing Christ on earth. "When did we ever see you?" the sheep say.
What is salvific is that Christ, witnessing our lives, recognizes and confesses us.
"Come, you who are blessed by my Father."