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.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Among fairy tales some of my favorite stories are about kings who disguise themselves and go among their people to learn of their true needs. In those stories, the wise king knows his people and is able to care for them because he’s shared their struggles. What a far cry from so many of the secular rulers—kings or presidents—throughout human history.
Today’s liturgy highlights the kingship of Christ with two readings which use images of sheep and shepherding. Ezekiel has God taking on the role of shepherd—caring, rescuing, healing—and judging us, who are God’s flock. The image shifts a bit in the Gospel, where Jesus is still our shepherd, but the role of judge gets more of the emphasis. There—like the understanding king in some of those fairy tales—Christ our King has identified completely with those who are hungry, thirsty, homeless, without clothing, in need of healing or imprisoned. This familiar scene of the last judgment sets the criteria for entrance into the kingdom of Christ: How have we recognized our King in those who come to us in need?
We may have little control over the conduct of secular presidents or kings. But our relationship with our heavenly King is clear: We are to embrace him in our loving service to one another.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In the first reading (Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17), who does Ezekiel say the shepherd of his sheep will be?
Will the Lord God be an especially good shepherd? What will the Lord do?
In this week’s second reading (1 Cor 15:20-26), Paul first reminds his people that “Christ has been raised from the dead.” He sees Christ as the “firstfruits” of those who have fallen asleep.
How does Paul compare Adam and Christ? Does Paul think that Christ will come again at the end of the world?
Jesus talks, in the Gospel, about what will happen when the Son of Man comes in his glory. What will he do?
How will the king separate the sheep from the goats? Who are the sheep? Who are the goats? What will happen to them? Why?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
Brainstorm some ways that your family can put what Jesus says in the Gospel into action. What are some practical ways you can welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or give drink to the thirsty? Try to get creative.
Get two boxes of different types of pasta and pour them both into one bowl. See how long it takes you to separate them into two piles.