Remembrance of All who have gone before us.
Our love and service and prayer are our blessing for those who have gone before us and their love and life their blessing for us who are still on the journey.
This excerpt from the Book of Wisdom reminds that those whom we remember in prayer today are in the hands of God. The quality of their future depends on how they have lived their lives and not on their accomplishments. But they are in the hands of a loving God. They have entered into a new life with God.
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.
Paul reminds us that the life we long to live has already begun in our baptism. In baptism, we are immersed into the death and resurrection of Jesus we die with him so as to rise to a new life with him . we walk in the newness of life with him. To walk with Christ means to emulate his character, his virtues, his life-style to live the way he lived and die the way he died, giving himself totally in love. Paul calls us today to reflect on how we have been walking with Christ.
In this excerpt, Mathew invites us into a vivid imaginative courtroom scene where judgment of those who are worthy to be welcomed into eternal life is taking place. The highlight of the scene is the criteria for the judgment of worthiness: LOVING KINDNESS. Loving persons do loving acts. Kind people do kind deeds. It is help in simple, ordinary things, response to daily needs of ordinary people: giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, comforting the sick - things that anyone can do, things that do not require training in skills or a degree or diploma from a university.
It is not performance of miracles or preaching of great sermons or donations of large sums of money or holding higher positions in society or any recognition offered to a person by the world, but in simple acts of loving kindness which has become part of the very nature, character of a person.
Acts of kindness are done not for a reward, not even thinking that it is done for the Lord, but it has become part of a person's nature. It is help which is uncalculating. In the parable, those who helped did not know that they were helping Christ and gaining merit for eternal life. And those who failed to help said, "if we had known it was you, we would have helped". Acts of loving kindness flow from loving hearts, from loving people without expecting praise, reward and merits .it is the nature, the character of loving people to do loving things in response to the simple, everyday needs of ordinary people.
The judgment is about what you have become and not what you have done or not done. You have become a new creation. You have become a noble person. You have become sons of God. You have become sensitive to those around you. You have become especially sensitive to the marginal people in the community. You have reached out in kindness because you just couldn't do otherwise.
Today is the feast of Christ the King - we proclaim Christ as our king and celebrate his kingship over us, rejoice in our royal and noble character and pledge our loyalty to Christ our king and master and Lord. Noble people must live noble lives. Kingdom people must live kingdom values. The values of kingdom are lived out in response to the simple, daily need of ordinary people.
TAKE A MOMENT AND PRAY: MAY YOUR KINGDOM COME! MAY YOUR WILL BE DONE! MAY your purpose be fulfilled! May I bring my will into harmony with your will, O Lord!
GRACEFULNESS:REMEMBER THAT OUR GOD IS ABIDING, ABUNDANT, STEADFAST, UNCONDITIONAL, EVERLASTING LOVE. GRACEFULNESS WILL BE YOURS.
Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs