Ø We are at the end of the liturgical year, and of the ordinary time.
Ø In the first Sunday in ordinary time we contemplated the young carpenter from Nazareth, Jesus, go to the Jordan River, like the other men, to be baptized by John.
Ø At his baptism Jesus heard the voice of the Father telling him “you are my son, my beloved son.” And after describing the baptism of Jesus, Mark narrates the missionary activity of the young Jesus proclaiming the kingdom of love of his Father.
Ø In the Sundays in ordinary time that followed up to now we have seen Jesus developing a ministry of compassion and tenderness never experienced before, thus many said what is this? Who is he? We have never seen such a thing.
Ø As Jesus makes his option to be with the abandoned and marginalized of society, the poor and the sinners, he invites his disciples, he invites us to do the same.
Ø Today we celebrate this same Jesus as King of the Universe, but not a King of worldly power and glory, but a King of endless compassion, tenderness and kindness.
Ø His judgment over the life of our society, our relationships is very surprising and we also exclaim, what is this? Is that the judgment that Jesus will pass on our life?
Ø Let us see what the readings for this Sunday tell us.
FIRST READING – Ez 34:11-12,15-17
Ø The Lord our God by the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel tells us that he himself will take care of his flock.
Ø The flock that has been dispersed during the storm and the darkness. Yes the people of Israel, the flock of Yahweh, has been dispersed by the political ambitions of the powerful countries, but most of all because the heart of the people of Israel was far from its God, and each one went its own way.
Ø The Lord says
§ I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered
§ I myself will pasture my sheep
§ The lost I will seek out
§ The injured I will bind up
§ The sick I will heal
Ø Is it not this what Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father, has been doing during his mission and his ministry among us?
Ø This passage from Ezekiel is of a great literary beauty, it describes the tender love of our Shepherd.
Ø The reading for today ends with a verse which makes us think, and which put us in relation with the Gospel: I will judge between one sheep and another…
RESPONSORIAL PSALM – Ps 23:1-2.2-3.5-6
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD THERE IS NOTHING I SHALL WANT
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
Beside restful waters he leads me
He refreshes my soul
He guides me in right paths
For his name’s sake.
You spread the table before me
In the sight of my foes
You anoint my head with oil
My cup overflows.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
All the days of my life
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
For years to come.
We never get tired of reading and meditating this psalm, which describes in such a graphic way and, with words so suggestive what God does for us, his tender care for each one of us
As the shepherd he knows each one of us by name.
GOSPEL Mt 25:31-46
v The Gospel for this coming Sunday is a continuation of the one we read last Sunday.
v Jesus tells us another parable, and with this parable he wants us to learn on what will the last judgment be.
v As a good teacher he wants us to know now what will the test be, so that we may prepare for it during our entire life.
v He calls himself the Son of Man. This mysterious character is found in the book of Daniel. The Son of Man is a humble person, he is the son of a man, but he receives royal power and dominion, power to judge all the peoples of the earth, nations and languages, his kingdom will have no end, it is eternal.
v And Jesus in his parable describes how is his dominion.
v What is the matter of this judgment, on what will we be examined?
v We will not be examined on our religion, our faith, our knowledge of Scriptures or theology, or many other sciences, not even how many Sundays have we attended Mass, or if we attended religious education classes to learn about God, or if we prayed many rosaries or if we have served our church in many ministries, none of these things will be the matter of judgment. All these things are good, but they will not be the object of the judgment that our Shepherd will pass on us.
v We will be examined on our human relationships.
v Human relationships which have to be like those of our Shepherd who seeks, heals, cherishes, in a word he cares for others and not for himself.
v This is a very simple judgment, maybe we do not like it because it is too simple and, it does not help our pride and vanity.
v What a simple think to give something to drink, to eat… The powerful and leaders of this world have other people to help others in their name. They do not have time for this, they are too busy with other things more “important”
v What a powerful message for all of us the followers of Jesus, who believe to be of the ones at his right hand.
v Will that be so? Is that the way we relate with our brothers and sisters, all the human beings? Because these are the ones that will be at his right hand.
v This judgement scares us, but at the same time it is very consoling, because all of us can give food, drink, visit… those who are learned and those who have never gone to school or very Little. We all have been given a human heart able to love, to be compassionate and to be tender.
v As we read the parable we realize that many of those at the right hand of the shepherd did not even know the shepherd, the Lord, they acted following the human instincts that God has given them, they lived as true human beings, images of God our Father.
The Lord who has showed to us what it means to love, that is to be compassionate, tender, merciful, in the service of our brothers and sisters, tells us that this will be the judgment he will pass on the human history.
v How much work do we have as followers of Jesus, he has called us in order that doing the same things he did, we work on the transformation of our world helping in the transformation and conversion of all the human hearts to the love of our Father God.
v This is our task, may our Shepherd help us to discover anew in us the ability to love and let us be filled with missionary enthusiasm to live and proclaim with our whole being that our God is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion toward all his creatures.
SEGUNDA READING 1 Cor 15:20-26,28
ü Paul tells us that Christ was risen from the dead as the first fruits of the resurrection of all those who sleep.
ü Afterwards the end will come and then Christ will hand over the kingdom to his Father.
ü Then all power and sovereignty will end since the only power will be Christ’s
ü The Son himself will be subjected to the Father
ü So that God will be God
ü So that God can be all in all.
ü Paul in his letter puts before our eyes a fascinating and promising life program, but we must work united to Christ to make real the kingdom of our God, kingdom where we all will be brothers and sisters, kingdom where the human relationships will not be difficult as they are now, kingdom in which all will live in peace, we will be happy, we will have become as individuals and as a society the true image of God “let us made man in our image.”
ü How awesome is this project of God who wants to make of all of us as the human race his image, thus the judgment at the end will be on how well we have accomplished our mission, our call.
It has been fulfilled literally because oftentimes, when I was weighed down not knowing how to do so many things overloading me, I invoked her favor for me and for my sisters and she always - helped me, especially in the beginning when our whole community consisted of only these four little ants.The continuous petitions of people for the religious education of girls, helped me much to obtain complete enclosure. Even though we had always observed it never going out of the house, our visitors were permitted to enter, a thing that I did not like at all, and even though we had scheduled days and hours for visits, I was always desiring more seclusion. Venerable Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 182-83.
From Mayari I traveled to Santiago, the capital, a distance of 40 leagues. We set out on the Monday of Holy Week. Since the route we were to travel was very isolated, we had to take along some provisions, which consisted of an earthenware pot containing a stew made of codfish, garbanzos, and potatoes. After we had been walking for a long stretch of road, my companions said that we needed to eat; so we stopped, took out the pot, lit a fire, and huddled behind the trunk of a large mahogany tree to shield ourselves from the wind. We all took turns gathering wood and the fire got so hot that the pot broke. We got a piece of palm-bark (it peels off the palm tree like a large piece of cowhide) and poured what we could salvage of the stew into it. We didn't have any spoons or forks; so we hunted up a gourd and ate our mess of pottage with it. We were thirsty and got another piece of palm-bark, tied both ends of it together like a bucket, filled it with water, and enjoyed a refreshing drink. We were all so happy and content that it was a wonder to behold. The following day we arrived in Santiago to celebrate Holy Week services, as I did every year. .Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 543.
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
SCHOKEL, Luis Alonso - Adaptación del texto y comentarios a La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo. 2010.
SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española. 2012