Gospel for November 23, 2008, Sunday

Claretian Publications Inc.

Posted at Nov 22 2008 12:00 AM | Updated as of Nov 24 2008 07:53 AM

Christ the King

1st Reading: Ezk 34:11–12, 15–17
Indeed Yahweh says this: I myself will care for my sheep and watch over them. As the shepherd looks after his flock when he finds them scattered, so will I watch over my sheep and gather them from all the places where they were scattered in a time of cloud and fog. 

I myself will tend my sheep and let them rest, word of Yahweh. I will search for the lost and lead back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the fat and strong will be eliminated. I will shepherd my flock with justice.

As for you, my flock—says Yahweh—I will distinguish between one sheep and another, and set apart rams and goats.

2nd Reading: 1 Cor 15:20–26, 28
Brothers and sisters, Christ has been raised from the dead and he comes before all those who have fallen asleep. A human being brought death; a human being also brings resurrection of the dead. All die for being Adam’s, and in Christ all will receive life. However, each one in his own time: first Christ, then Christ’s people, when he comes.

Then the end will come, when Christ delivers the kingdom to God the Father, after having destroyed every rule, authority and power. For he must reign and put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death.

When the Father has subjected everything to him, the Son will place himself under the One who subjected everything to him. From then on, God will be all in all.

Gospel: Mt 25:31–46
Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his angels, he will sit on the throne of his Glory. All the nations will be brought before him, and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will he do with them, placing the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“The King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, blessed of my Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me into your house. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me.’

“Then the good people will ask him: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food; thirsty and give you drink, or a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to see you?’ The King will answer, ‘Truly, I say to you: whenever you did this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Go, cursed people, out of my sight into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you did not give me anything to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome me into your house; I was naked and you did not clothe me; I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

“They, too, will ask: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked or a stranger, sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ The King will answer them: ‘Truly, I say to you: whatever you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do for me.’

“And these will go into eternal punishment, but the just to eternal life.”

By imitating the self-giving of Jesus we become more like Him, thereby growing in holiness. 

Jesus extended Himself to the poor, the lame, the blind and the leprous time and time again. He went out of His way to show His care and concern for the poor and the less fortunate. So must we if we want to walk along the path of holiness. We cannot be both selfish and Christ-like at the same time. Indeed we will be judged on how well we kept the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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