November 23, 2008
Feast of Christ the King
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Help me to live according to your will and example. Set my heart ablaze with charity and love. Grant me the grace to serve all the souls I meet today as I would serve you.
Petition: Lord, help me to seek and find your face in the faces of others. “Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me” (Psalm 27:8-9).
1. Right-Hand Man
Jesus’ message is simple. During our earthly life we need to be his right-hand man so that in heaven we can be at his right hand. When a basketball game is down to the last second and one team is down one basket, the “go-to guy” on that team will be chosen to attempt the winning basket before the buzzer sounds. The “go-to guy” is the player who practices daily. He puts in extra hours. He gives his best at every second, on and off the court. He is the coach’s right-hand man. Jesus wants each of us to be his right-hand man. Jesus needs each of us to put all our joy and enthusiasm into his game plan of serving others with love. Then we will hear Jesus say those game-winning words, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
2. Eloquent Witness
Talk, talk and more talk is the name of the game in today’s world. Bloggers, talk show hosts, politicians, media stars and a host of others opine on every topic imaginable, often putting their own unique spin on the truth. Jesus, however, looks beyond eloquent speeches and popular blogs. He knows that the measure of a man is to be found in his actions. In this Gospel, the righteous are humble servants. Jesus appreciates their loving actions, which give silent witness to the state of their souls and the depth of their love. “The world is in urgent need of a great prophetic sign of fraternal charity! It is not enough to ‘speak’ of Jesus. We must also let him be ‘seen’ somehow through the eloquent witness of our own life” (Pope John Paul II, Message, World Youth Day, February 22, 2004).
3. Acts of Charity
“'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Jesus identifies himself with each person created by God. When we do a good deed for a nameless someone, it is the same as doing it for him. Every time we lower ourselves to serve someone, it is as if we are genuflecting before our Lord and King. Each day holds countless opportunities to slow down, notice the needs of our family and neighbors, and help them. We need to take advantage of those opportunities so that on our judgment day, Christ will not accuse us of omitting acts of charity from our day-to-day life.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, help me to be an eloquent witness of your love and mercy. Grant me the grace to slow down and share your generous and merciful love with everyone that I meet today.
Resolution: I will do an act of charity for a person who needs my help today, with the same love and detail as if I were doing it for Christ.
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