November 26, 2017 – Solemnity of Christ the King (Cycle A, Year I)
Community Word: God exalts His faithful servants.
Theme: God exalts those who care for and minister to the poor and the needy.
Promise: “The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal.” (Ez 34:16a)
The Solemnity of Christ the King closes our liturgical year, and by next week, we will already start the season of Advent. The gospel describes the time when the entire humanity will be gathered before Jesus as King and Judge, and everyone will be segregated into two groups – the faithful servants will be separated from the unfaithful ones. As far as we are concerned, pretentious believers will be segregated from true Christians who have the Holy Spirit in them. The latter will share in their “master’s joy.”
The gospel shows us how Jesus, the true and universal King, will judge us. While He is our caring and merciful Lord, He is also a just and righteous Judge. The basis of His judgement is how we have reacted and responded to the human needs of our brothers. We will be judged not on acquired talents and skills, nor on the prestige and fortune earned, but how we have extended help to others and lightened their burdens. Because, as Jesus explains, to help the insignificant, ordinary and nobody is to reach out to Christ. To ignore them is to ignore Christ.
In this scene of the Last Judgement, we are reminded to follow the light given to us, not just what we say but what we do. Have we cared for the least among us through corporal and spiritual works of mercy? It is our responsibility to care for one another in body, soul and spirit, and this is the truest measure of our loyalty to Christ. Finally, it is about the truth that we will be separated from God, not only for wrongdoing, but for doing nothing. “Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me, (Mt 25:40). “What you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me,” (Mt 25:45). Jesus identifies himself with the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and the lonely. His standard of judging is the compassion and kindness we extend to Him in the many faces of the “least of my brothers.” This is so because Jesus cares so much about us as expressed is this week’s theme: God exalts those who care for and minister to the poor and the needy.
One day, we will face Jesus and hearing our response, may Jesus say to us: “Come, you are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” (Mt 25:34). Jesus is a king who rules by love. He makes no speeches. His gentle words give peace. He does not come to be served, but invites us to serve one another, most especially the poor. He is not clothed in royalty, but comes as a humble and dutiful shepherd.
The word of God gives us assurances and promises which are being fulfilled in the daily lives of those who hear the voice of our King. To those who do not pay attention to His voice because of selfishness and indifference, the gospel’s word of condemnation must be recognized as a warning to transform their ways and to correct wrongdoings and sins of omission. The words in the gospel and other readings are both comforting and disturbing because they are teaching us God’s standard of love. We are being taught that the proof of our true love for God is not found in religiosity, but in how we treat others around us. Are we Christ to others? An honest answer will reveal what we have done for others, the depth and genuineness of our faith and to which eternal destiny, heaven or hell, will we reach in the end.
God’s promise this week will be realized when we act upon our response to Christ’s call to minister to the poor: “The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal,” (Ez 34:16a).
Lord Jesus, our precious King of glory, in Your second coming, may we be found waiting and longing for You. We, Your servants, pray that on this day, we may joyfully give account of the things we have done according to Your rule of love. Love is the measure of our faith and faith is the soul of love. Allow us to think of ourselves with humility, abounding in gentleness and compassion to all, imitating all that You do, that we may live in You until we come face to face before Your majesty and glory. Amen.
1. What have you done to translate your love for God to love for the last, least and lost among your neighbors? Do you see Jesus in them?
2. As Christ’s under-shepherds, how can you commit to be more caring to those who need help so that they too may have joy in their lives?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
November 26, 2017 (Sun) – Ez 14:11, 12, 15-17/Ps 23:1-6/1Cor 15:20-26, 28/Mt 25:31-43
November 27, 2017(Mon) – Dn 1:1-6, 8-20/Dn 3:52-54/Lk 21:1-4
November 28, 2017(Tues) – Dn 2:31-45/Dn 3:57-61/Lk 21:5-11
November 29, 2017(Wed) – Dn 5:1-6, 13, 14, 16, 17, 23-28/Dn 3:62-67/Lk 21:12-19
November 30, 2017 (Thur) – Rom 10:9-18/Ps 19:8-11/Mt 4:18-22
December 1, 2017 (Fri) – Dn 7:2-14/Dn 3:75-81/Lk 21:29-33
December 2, 2017(Sat) – Dn 7:15-27/Dn 3:82-87/Lk 21:34-36
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”