Liturgy of the Sunday

Deel Op

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.

Psalmody

Psalm 22

Antiphon

The Lord is my Shepherd there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose

Near restful waters he leads me,
To revive my drooping spirit.

He guides me along the right path;
He is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness
No evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff;
With these you give me comfort.

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.

In the Lord's own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.

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

Homily

The Gospel writes that judgment begins with separation of the ones from the others, like a shepherd who divides the goats from the sheep, putting them to the left and the right. As one can deduce, separation does not just happen between one people and another, but within peoples, just like believers and not separated from unbelievers. Division passes through groups, and even through a person; this is why a part of ourselves stays to the left and another to the right of Jesus. The criteria for separation is not based on ideological, cultural or religious diversity, but on the relationship each of us has with the poor. And for each of us what is saved are those times or parts of life when we gave food to the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, visited the prisoners. The rest, the part on the left, is burned, destroyed.
The judge himself, Jesus, says: "I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink..." The dialogue between the judge and the two groups highlights a disconcerting aspect: the universal judge at the end of time, the one that all, believers and not, recognize as King and Lord, has the face of a person who lives on the street, of an abandoned elderly person, of a disfigured child, of the foreigners who have been rejected. We can continue the list; it is enough to go around the streets of our cities. The monotonous repetition, in these few verses, of the six situations of poverty, perhaps indicates how often they repeat. This tells us that the decisive encounter between us and God does not come through heroic or extraordinary deeds, but in the daily encounter with the poor and weak. The criteria for salvation, according to the Gospel proclaimed to us, is the practice of love and attention to the poor-it doesn't matter if you know or do not know that Jesus himself is present in them.
The identity between Jesus and the poor is an objective fact. They are the sacrament of Christ, not because they are good and honest, but just because they are poor. Those who are saved affirm explicitly that they did not recognize the Christ in the poor that they helped. But this does not count: what counts is the compassion and the help, and if you will, a heart moved by the feelings of the Lord, whether one knows it or not. What is certain is that helping the poor is what saves us, personally and collectively.