Gospel Reflection Nov 22 – Deacon Paul
Sunday, November 22
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Matthew 25: 31-46
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who 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 drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
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 no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”
What a great coincidence that it was my turn to provide a reflection for today’s Feast of Christ the King. Earlier this week was my inaugural board meeting at Cristo Rey Columbus High School. It is a private, Roman Catholic co-educational high school. And guess what Cristo Rey means: Christ the King!! How appropriate for today’s Feast. If you are not familiar with this school, I encourage you to look it up on the internet and find out about the good it brings to the young men and women who attend this school.
Today’s reading is about making choices in how we live our lives. It is a very simple one to understand, but is it an easy one to follow? Which are we? Are we the sheep on the shepherds right, who give food and drink to a stranger, clothe the naked or care for them, visit those in prison? For the king will say, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Or are we the goats on his left? Where ‘these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’
Friends, in our lives, it is not enough to just avoid vice, or sin, but to also work toward attaining virtue and virtuous behavior. To do no harm is not the same as to help. This is what we are called to do: to not just avoid doing wrong or harm, but to go out of our way to do good as well.
May you and your families have a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving next week!!
Deacon Paul Zemanek