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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

27 November 2023

26 November - The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Reading 1 (Ez 34:11-12,15-17)

Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly. As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.


Reading 2 (1Cor 15:20-26,28)

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order:Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.


Gospel (Mt 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."


Man is constantly faced with a dilemma: to give or to take? You can live by giving yourself, and you can live by taking for yourself, giving nothing in return. Is this good and fair? Maybe from a human point of view yes, but it does not agree with God's logic. God gives us his grace every day, shares his love, and forgives us our sins when we ask for it. God provides to our needs without taking anything in return, because how can we return to God, repay His goodness, love or mercy. The payment for His grace, the gratitude for His love, is my kindness and love shown to other people whom God puts in my path. It is through them that God says: give them what you want to give to me, because I live in their hearts, in them I am waiting for your love. We often want to separate the love of God from the love of neighbor, but this is impossible, because God has hidden himself in every human heart and there he is waiting for my love, patience, forgiveness, concrete help, the simplest, most ordinary help shown in simple gestures of love. It is easy to talk about love, but we know that it is not enough, we must also show this love in concrete actions and testify to it with our lives. The example of these evil ones, shown in this Gospel as goats, shows us this truth. They react to the accusation with surprise and disbelief, expressed in questions: when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked, in need? It seems that they didn't see, or maybe they didn't want to see, or they saw, but they didn't help, and now they lie to justify themselves. We certainly cannot deny their faith and love, the fact that they believed and loved, but were unable to see what true love was, that is, giving themselves for the good of others, seeing Christ in them, and in all this, a chance for salvation. The point is not to neglect any opportunity to do good, because any such neglect distances us from Jesus, and by distancing us from Him, it also distances us from eternal reward. Jesus set only this one condition for us to achieve eternal happiness in His Kingdom. We will share in His eternal love to the extent that we have shown love to our brothers and sisters in this life, praying for them and helping them in their needs. Let's see how simple Jesus' requirements are to be able to participate in His reign, based on simple deeds of love, which are at the same time extremely difficult because they require us to deny ourselves, get out of our own pride and greed and turn our eyes to others. A difficult task, because we are not always capable of this one thing: overcoming our human limitations and dedicating ourselves to the service of our brothers. Jesus did this by dying on the cross, defeating the greatest enemies of our salvation: death and sin. The death of Jesus is like food for our souls. Through his death, Jesus gave us, the thirsty, the water of eternal life. Through his death, Jesus welcomed us back into the Father's house, us wandering in the wilderness of sin. Through his death, Jesus clothed the nakedness of our weakness with the dignity of children of God. Through his death, Jesus healed us from the disease of sin. Through his death, Jesus came to visit us and free us from the prison of sin and death. He did all this because He saw in us what we could not see. He saw our true value and loved us with a love that pushed Him into the arms of condemnation, into which He entered to deliver us and give us freedom from condemnation. We do not have to make such a great sacrifice, Christ does not require it from us, but we can, just as He gave us hope, give it to other people, love them just as He loved us, forgive their weaknesses as He forgives us ours. Is this too much to deserve to reign with Christ? It's not much if, instead of focusing on ourselves, we start focusing on Jesus and looking for His face in other people. Then serving them will not become exhaustion but sanctification, love will begin to give joy instead of complaints, and reluctance will turn into zeal. Let's see how thin the line is between salvation and damnation. It is enough to neglect love and life will become hell, because only in hell there is no love. Therefore, let us cultivate love, not at the level of words, but in our actions, which may bring glory to Christ and ensure us a joyful reign with Him in eternity.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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