READINGS for 2008-11-23
Solemnity of Christ the King
OuR “tO DO” LIst
“I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.” – Matthew 25:40
Quite often I meet some Christians who still believe that we cannot “do” (they call it “works”) anything to get salvation. To “get” salvation, you just:
2. Accept Jesus into your heart by saying the sinners prayer sincerely.
3. As an option, start living a Christian life from then on.
But aren’t those things listed above stuff that must be “done” (“works”)?
In reality, both Catholics and other Christians believe that salvation is a “gift” from God. For Catholics, we call this “grace.”
However, as today’s Gospel shows, Jesus has actually added six more items on our “to do” list. Feed the hungry. Give drink to the thirsty. Welcome a stranger. Clothe the naked. Comfort the sick. Visit the prisoner.
These are the standards by which we will be judged on the last day. Are we doing them? Jomar Hilario
Are those six things negotiable at all? When will you start doing them?
Lord, let my faith express itself in action.
We celebrate today Jesus as Christ the King, The Good Shepherd of all the earth. As such we recognize the universal nature of His reign over all people, both believers and unbelievers. He has created us all and thus is ruler of all. Perhaps today is an appropriate time to intercede for the evangelization of all nations; that all may come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ in their lives and surrender to His loving mercy.
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. 12 As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. 15 I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. 16 The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal [but the sleek and the strong I will destroy], shepherding them rightly. 17 As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.
P S A L M
Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
R: (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 In verdant pastures he gives me repose. (R) Beside restful waters he leads me; 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. (R) 5 You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (R) 6 Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. (R)
Death is a universal experience of all human beings. If there is one certain thing in life, it is that we will all die one day! We do not have any power over death. Doctors may be able to delay it a little but in relation to eternity, this is nothing. A wise person once said to me that true wisdom comes when one realizes the shortness of one’s life and thus begins to live the rest of his or her life with that perspective – namely - I only have a short time to live, so I better use that time wisely.
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, 23 but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; 24 then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death, 27 for “he subjected everything under his feet.” But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected everything to him. 28 When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will [also] be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.
G O S P E L
This famous parable of the judging of the sheep and the goats has probably become so familiar to us over the years that it has lost some of its ability to confront us. Perhaps we should try to approach it with a fresh mind this year and apply its lesson to our lives with a new earnestness and honesty. Would you be judged as a sheep or a goat in the various aspects of your life? Perhaps you do well in some areas and not others? Well, you should know what you have to do by now!
Matthew 25:31- 46
31 Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
think:Would you be judged as a sheep or a goat in the various aspects of your life?
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Baruch 1-3
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
Jesus is fond of surprises. The circumstances of His personal life and His teachings were full of surprises. Today, on the solemnity of His kingship, Jesus springs another surprise. When Jesus comes again at the end of time, clothed in His glory as King of the universe and Judge of all humankind, there will be three more surprises.
The first will be that Jesus will not give particular attention to what we would consider shining moments in human history. Rather, the focus will be on what seems to be ordinary deeds for most of us: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, attending to the sick, visiting the inmate, welcoming strangers. The second surprise will be that in the end, both the blessed and the accursed will grapple with the same problem: “Lord, when did we see You?” He will have only one answer as well: “Whatever you did to the least of my brethren, you did it for Me. Whatever you did not do to the least of my brethren, you did not do for Me.” The surprise is of Jesus revealing Himself in the distressing disguise of the poor. We meet Jesus every day, every moment, and everywhere, most especially among the least, the last, and the lost. Jesus’ favorite address is the human person; and “To love another person,” as the song says, “is to see the face of God.”
The third surprise will come as something rather disturbing for many of us. The weight of guilt that will make the accursed deserving of eternal punishment will not be measured by the evil they have done but by the good they have failed to do. Those who did not do the good they were supposed to do in the face of human need were punished in hell.
Now that we know three surprises, they should not surprise us anymore. When Jesus, whom we acclaim today as King, comes as Judge on the Last Day, may the only surprise to catch us be said in these words, “Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you even before the foundation of the world.” Fr. Bobby Titco
Am I ready for Jesus’ surprise?
Jesus, please make me ready always for the surprise of Your coming. Help me to recognize You in the distressing disguise of the poor and love them as I would love You. Amen.
Pope St. Clement I, pray for us.
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