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Liturgy of the Sunday

Feast of Christ the King of the Universe Read more

Liturgy of the Sunday
Sunday, November 26

Feast of Christ the King of the Universe

First Reading

Ezekiel 34,11-12.15-17

"For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself shall take care of my flock and look after it. As a shepherd looks after his flock when he is with his scattered sheep, so shall I look after my sheep. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered on the day of clouds and darkness. I myself shall pasture my sheep, I myself shall give them rest -- declares the Lord Yahweh. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the injured and make the sick strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them. "As for you, my sheep, the Lord Yahweh says this: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.


Psalm 23


Lord you are the king of glory.

The Lord is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.

It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?

The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbour,

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him.

Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies, he is the king of glory.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 15,20-26.28

In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the dead, as the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. As it was by one man that death came, so through one man has come the resurrection of the dead. Just as all die in Adam, so in Christ all will be brought to life; but all of them in their proper order: Christ the first-fruits, and next, at his coming, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father, having abolished every principality, every ruling force and power. For he is to be king until he has made his enemies his footstool, and the last of the enemies to be done away with is death, for he has put all things under his feet. When everything has been subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the One who has subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 25,31-46

'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me." Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?" And the King will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me." Then he will say to those on his left hand, "Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink, I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me." Then it will be their turn to ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?" Then he will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me." And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Christ is king. He commands for real. He is the meaning of everything. He judges and will judge. He is king of love and for this he gives all of himself. His limitation is that we are not his! We are free to be. So many 'I's' make themselves kings, try to impose themselves on others, put themselves at the centre and become like sick people, because the meaning of our lives we all find only by binding ourselves to others. Jesus, king of everything and everyone, becomes brother and identifies with those who depend on others in everything, who need to be loved in a concrete way, who lack something so that we can give it to them. We are his when we learn to be of others, to have a heart, to love! And judgement saves us if we face it every day, living among the people and seeking the Lord when we meet him poor, naked, hungry, a stranger, sick and a prisoner. Thus the King identifies himself in the smallest, who are then the greatest in his kingdom.
It is easy to think the humble gestures of loving kindness unimportant. Do not say: I have nothing to give. It is not true. Jesus speaks of giving bread, water, clothes, time, affection; visitation, presence, in short, the infinite possible gestures of affection.
But the opposite is also true. When did I see you hungry and give you food? When you came to visit me. When you gave courage to me who was facing the tunnel of fear. When you were attentive, caring, waited for me, did not leave immediately. When you took my hand. When you wasted your time with me who seemed to you only a problem. When you were not afraid. When you took some of my pain. When you stopped thinking only of yourself, looking only for money, honours, your clothes or convenience and helped me precisely because I had nothing to give you in return. When you felt my loneliness, my coldness, my fear in sickness, my despair in prison as your own. When you did not think I was too small. When you were not satisfied with just being right or with theories but met me in the flesh. "Come, blessed ones." It is a blessing to love. So we share in the joy, giving.
It was me and you did it to me, Jesus will say. The poor are Christ's sacrament. Their body is his. Whoever loves the poor loves God. Feeding, visiting, covering: this is how we belong to him. Love so that he can love us. The future is the fruit of love. It is personally for each of us and it is also for our world, which has no future without love for the weakest and poorest.

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say. So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9: 3-7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!