OMELIE / Omelie EN

26 nov 2023
26/11/2023 - 34th Sunday: Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - year A

26/11/2023 - 34th Sunday: Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - year A

Reading 1 EZ 34,11-12.15-17 Psalm 22 Reading 2 1COR 15,20-26.28 Gospel MT 25,31-46

Today we close the liturgical year with the solemnity of Jesus’s royalty, Jesus our Lord! The Gospel according to Matthew is telling us about the parable Jesus told, in which He Himself is taking on the role of King. He, “the Son of Man”, “will sit upon his glorious throne”; in fact, when He will open His mouth to provide His judgement, He calls Himself “the King”!

He is the king in front of whom all peoples will need to stand, and He will have to give the sentence to each one of them. Which ones will be absolved? Which ones will be condemned? Which one will be recognised so just to be rewarded and which one will be punished? At this point the king is likened to a shepherd, a shepherd who is looking to find order within the flock, by separating the sheep from the goats. The image of the shepherd is used by the prophets of the old testament, in particular Ezekiel, of whom today we read an excerpt. Here the shepherd gathers the sheep scattered and takes care of them, so they will not be left without food, and those which are sick receive the necessary ailments. This page is closing with the assurance that it will be the same shepherd to make the distinction between “one sheep and another, between rams and goats”.

These are words which gives reassurance and inspires trust, because the shepherd loves tenderly the sheep, so His judgement will definitely be in their favour. Jesus continues the parable giving an example of the goodness and fairness of His judgement. All people who, whatever people they are coming from, will have demonstrated love for Him, even inadvertently, are called Blessed and they will receive the royal inheritance. These are those who had realised the different sufferings of men and they would have tried to bring solace. “Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me”: Jesus identifies Himself with the least of His brothers, the most needy.

Who are these “least brothers of mine”? This expression can be intended in a very specific or generic way: Jesus could be thinking of those who believe in Him, so the Christians who are persecuted because they are Christians, but He could be thinking of any man suffering for any reason. The latter is the most common reading with which the saints approach these words, a reading which comes easy to us too, taking into account the rest of Jesus’s teaching, who loves all men, sinners, pagans, enemies, known and unknown people.

This parable of the Lord’s unites and creates harmony between faith and love: believing in Him is the foundation for a love always active and effective, and the love every man shows, even if those who are showing it do not know Jesus, equates the merit of the faith.

The same parable then opens up our horizons on the future, beyond death. Death does not bring emptiness. After death there is the judgment, also for those who do not know it or those who are actively ignoring it, and the judgement is not separated from Jesus, the Son sent by the Father to die and rise again for everyone.

Saint Paul is telling us today too: “in Christ shall all be brought to life”; and he also says: “He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet”. It is obvious that our eyes are drawn to the Lord Jesus, our attention focussed on His Word, our desire on His heart, so He may truly be the king, even before of the universe, of our life, our will, of every action of ours and of every relationship of ours with the children of God!