That is one of the big questions. It's right up there with "to be, or not to be." It's in the top ten, along with "but WHY!!!!????!!!"
Is it the person with the most resources? The one who works the hardest? The one who was born with the right pedigree? Perhaps it's the one whom God appears to like the most, you know, the one whose every step seems to be blessed and who never seems to stumble? It might be the celebrated. It might be the one with the audacity, the charm, the ability to draw everyone else in the room into their orbit. It might be the one who is certain of the right way, the true way. It might be any of these.
It might also be the poor. It might be the sick, the halt, the lame. It might be the outsider. It might be the one hidden from view, or the one who for shame hides from view. It might be the person who is outwardly whole and apparently hearty, or it might be the person who is melting inside while presenting a brave front. It might be the lost, the broken. It might be the inappropriate, or the awkward.
It might be the dying, those surrounded by family and community...or those dying alone and forgotten.
That really is a big question, isn't it. The easy answer, if we are willing to take a generous "mercy of God" approach is that everyone matters. That's great, really. At least it is until we are confronted with someone who lives a life outside what we consider appropriate and/or acceptable. Worse still, the shame of realization that we are the ones on the outside looking in on the folks who enjoy an acceptance from the world that never does quite seem to find us.
The priest who repents. The centurion who humbles himself. The woman who cleanses Jesus' feet with her tears. The widow whose dead son is restored to her. The tax collectors and sinners. The hungry, those who yearn for a simple meal and those who yearn to God's justice. The Pharisee who struggles to accept and understand. The crowds who hover, wonder and wait for a sign.
They all matter...to God....and our life's work as people of faith is to learn how to have them matter to us.