The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
November 26, 2017
Readings of the day: RB 47Mass: Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Resp. Psalm 23; 1 Cor. 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46WHATEVER YOU DID FOR ONEOF THE LEAST SISTERS OR BROTHERS OF MINE,YOU DID FOR ME.Christ The Good Shepherd
Commenting on today’s Gospel, Pope Francis told those gathered in Saint Peter’s Square: “At the end of our life we will be judged on love, that is, on our concrete commitment to love and to serve Jesus in our smallest and most needy brothers” (Angelus address, Nov. 26, 2017).
On this last Sunday of the liturgical year and in preparation for the holy season of Advent, why not turn to the works of mercy as a way to love and serve Jesus in our sisters and brothers. Last year, while reflecting on the works of mercy, Pope Francis helped broaden our understanding of the works of mercy by encouraging us to look at them as a whole; to see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces. The Holy Father proposed a complement to the traditional sets of seven: may the works of mercy also include care for our common home (Day of Prayer for Creation, September 1, 2016). “As a spiritual work of mercy, care for our common home calls for a ‘grateful contemplation of God’s world’, which ‘allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us’. As a corporeal work of mercy, care for our common home requires ‘simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness’ and ‘makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world’.”
A rich theme of discussion for families, communities, and work groups might be how each of us individually can break the logic of violence, exploitation, and selfishness. Questions may include: how are my actions or words in any way violent—do I act in anger, nurse a grudge, injure or curse others? How do I exploit members of my family, community, or my colleagues by not bearing with others’ weaknesses of body or behavior? Are there times when I pursue what I judge better for myself instead of pursuing what is better for someone else? Just imagine the local if not global impact of only one or two people making a concrete commitment to love and serve Jesus in a brother or sister. We don’t have to look far—the smallest and most in need may be sitting across the table from us. I MYSELF WILL PASTURE MY SHEEP;I MYSELF WILL GIVE THEM REST SAYS THE LORD.THE LOST I WILL SEEK OUT, THE STRAYED I WILL BRING BACK,THE INJURED I WILL BIND UP, THE SICK I WILL HEAL.