November 20, 2011: Solemnity of Christ the King
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 15: 20-26, 28
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Matthew 25:31-46 paragraph 183
Matthew 25:34-36, 40 paragraph 57
Matthew 25:35-36 paragraphs 265 and 403
Matthew 25:35-37 paragraph 58
Matthew 25:40, 45 paragraph 183
1st Corinthians 15:20-26, 28 paragraphs 383 and 454
“The complete fulfillment of the human person, achieved in Christ through the gift of the Spirit, develops in history and is mediated by personal relationships with other people, relationships that in turn reach perfection thanks to the commitment made to improve the world, in justice and peace…” paragraph 58
“…Our Lord warns us that we will be separated from Him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are His brethren.” paragraph 183
In Matthew’s discourse, not once, but four times, the parameters of discipleship are enumerated. How we love, not judge and condemn, manifests salvation in God’s eyes. A process defined not as just giving physical gifts of food, drink or clothes and offering welcoming hospitality. Empowering the marginalized and vulnerable to articulate and secure their own necessities facilitates a process where charity synergistically transcends to justice and restores dignity to a human person. First we must care to see the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, prisoner, or ill and let the Lord guide us on right paths to come out of cloudy darkness of self-serving agendas to put their needs first. This is a process of acknowledging we are all poor, maybe not in physical necessities, but in the depths we see Christ in every human being, with mercy and compassion through our words and actions. But in prayerful, sacramental transformation, the Lord God seeks the lost, strayed, psychologically injured, sleek and strong to rescue them from every place of despair and false security. To rest in this refreshing shepherding of goodness and kindness, we profess God may be all in all. Let not indifference to society’s poor and vulnerable or spiritual poverty in your own lives, muffle Jesus’ words of invitation to come and be blessed.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 25:31-46
Each day before you leave your home this week, read Matthew 25: 31-46 and during the day look with the eyes of your heart to see Jesus in those you meet.
Family Reflection: Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
As we approach Christmas and remember Jesus as an infant was an immigrant, arrange an Advent evening of reflection on struggles faced by immigrants to learn about their challenges and needs. Ask people at your parish, that are immigrants,to participate in the dialogue, so people may become more understanding of immigrants in your neighborhood.
The reflection maybe reproduced in parish bulletins, newsletters, or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.