Whatsoever You Do (to the least of my people)

This social justice themed hymn was written by American Catholic priest and composer Willard Francis Jabusch (1930-).

It was composed in 1965 for a youth Mass in Chicago, Illinois (USA) where Jabusch was working.    It is based on Matthew 25:35-36, 40 (Christ's story about sheep and goats at the last judgement, and Jesus teaching that the only grounds for judgement is whether love has been shown to least of God's people.   The latter verses extend these ideas to the social issues of the day.

First published - with 11 verses - in the Hymnal for Young Christians (1966) Volume 1, it was been included in many other hymnals and was re-published in 1982. Today the rights are administered by by OCP Publications.

The original text was "“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers", but more recent publications show it as “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people" (ref

With irregular meter, the tune is also called WHATSOEVER YOU DO. The original setting was in the key of  D, with time signature 3/4.

It is one of two hymns quoted in Malcolm Muggeridge's 1971 book 'Something beautiful for God'.


Downloads


Examples

Medium sized church-choir, during a hymn-a-thon, with keyboard, guitar and violin backing.



Children's choir with a soloist



A professionally produced but rather dry country-style version by a solo singer


Lyrics

The full text is still copyright, so cannot be reproduced here. There is a three-line chorus which is sung at the start of the song and then repeated between each verse, and the last verse of each chorus is the "Now enter into the home of my Father".    A rough outline of the verses is:

When I was hungry, you gave me to eat ... 
         Chorus:Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers ...

When I was homeless, you opened your door ... 
When I was weary, you helped me find rest ... 
When I was little, you taught me to read ... 
When in a prison, you came to my cell ... 
Hurt in a battle you bound up my wounds ... 
When I was Negro or Chinese or White ... 
When I was aged you bothered to smile ... 
When I was laughed at you stood by my side ...


Image source and license

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