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Splendid Sundays

Splendid Sundays: God’s giving and giving to God

Today’s Mass Readings, with a reflection below.

Novena to Christ the King

Recite One Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory Be per day followed by the Novena Prayer:

O Lord our God, You alone are the Most Holy King and Ruler of all nations.  We pray to You, Lord, in the great expectation of receiving from You, O Divine King, mercy, peace, justice and all good things.  Protect, O Lord our King, our families and the land of our birth.  Guard us we pray Most Faithful One.  Protect us from our enemies and from Your Just Judgment  Forgive us, O Sovereign King, our sins against you.  Jesus, You are a King of Mercy.  We have deserved Your Just Judgment  Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us.  We trust in Your Great Mercy.  O most awe-inspiring King, we bow before You and pray; May Your Reign, Your Kingdom, be recognized on earth.

Amen.

 

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King

Lectionary: 160

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.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6

R. (1) 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.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
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.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reading 2 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits 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 firstfruits;
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.”

 

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Bl. Mother Teresa

Reflection

God provides us everything. Last week we learned in the Parable of Talents that to whom God entrusts much He expects much. This week we learn just how much God gives us. He gives us everything we need, provided we depend solely on Him.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit”

Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5

These passages are about completely casting aside your wants and desires and instead turning completely to God to provide for you. How much are we depending on God for everything? I, for one, am daily guilty of relying upon myself first and often resorting to God when I realize I need His help. I forget to lean on Him first, always first, never second, because when I give all control to Him I will have no need to worry, I won’t need His help, I’ll already have it. But practically speaking, what things do you do differently to lean on God first?

I’m still learning this myself, so if you, our readers and contributors, have suggestions and insight, do leave it in the comments box!

I see leaning on Him for everything manifesting in regularly offering myself to Him during the day, to His work, “Lord, I am yours to do your will.” This prayer in general makes me more aware of my surroundings, it takes me out of my own mind, agenda, and worries and I become more sensitive to the things outside of my mind could be or needs to be done.   Instead of focusing so much on my own needs I might notice  that a friend is struggling and could use a few minutes of my time.  Even praying about everyday decisions, “What is the best way to feed my family today?” might yield in a reminder that I have some leftovers in the freezer I could warm up, when I had really been inclined to go out to eat unnecessarily.

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.”

Jesus to His disciples, John 6:54

God also takes care of me through His Sacraments. God refreshes my soul when I humble myself in the Sacrament of Confession. God tends to me, His sheep, when I worship in Eucharistic Adoration, and He pastures my body with His when I partake in the Blessed Sacrament. He tends to both our body and soul through the Sacraments which gives us eternal life.

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.”

Jesus to His disciples, John 10:27-28

Finally we hear Jesus say with complete clarity that what separates out those who will live with Him forever is found in what they do with the gifts He bestows upon them. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” says Jesus in the Gospel of John, so it is first by His nourishment that we are able to hear Jesus’ voice cry out to us in the hungry, the thirsty, the poor, all of those in need. And like with the Parable of the Talents, it is not enough for His faithful to accept the gift of faith and keep it for ourselves (burying it to preserve it instead of letting it grow like the third servant), we are called to live our faith, share our faith, double the many talents worth of faith by sharing our faith.

Disclaimer: This post was finished early and scheduled to automatically post on Sunday. The third commandment was not broken in the creation of this edition of Splendid Sundays =D.