VIII, 16 -
WORD FOR MISSION
Missionary reflection on Sunday Liturgy
Every week EUNTES.NET
to lay, religious people and priests an itinerary of reflections on the
Sunday Liturgy in a missionary prespective. These are elements for a
missionary meditation, individual or in community, on the Word of God ,
which constantly and surprisingly continues to enlighten, strengthen
and sustain the missionary journey of the Church, for the life of the
everything on charity: “you did it to me!”
Christ the King – Sunday
Year A - Sunday 20.11.2011
The Word of God on the feast of Christ the King
us on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, and has an evident
sweeping over the past, the present and the future of individuals
and of all human history. They are the ‘ages’ of the saving presence of
who is always “Emmanuel” – God-with-us:
He appeared at Bethlehem in human flesh (Mt. 1:23), he walks with us in
lives (Mt. 28:20), and he will come at the final stage as our
judge (Gospel). His presence is
always marked by love; it brings us comfort in suffering and
gives us reason
to hope, even as we await the final judgement. That final moment is
today’s Gospel in words of terrifying severity (v. 41-46),
are not in contrast to the good Jesus, “the friend of tax-collectors and sinners”
(Lk.7:34), who became man to “Seek that
which was lost” (Lk. 9:10). Matthew
symbolically places, right after the great scene of the judgement, a
Jesus who “will
be handed over to be crucified” (Mt. 26:2).
Jesus, the Good Shepherd who lays down his life
sheep (Jn. 10) makes real the project of God, king-shepherd, of whom
Reading) express the concerned love for the sheep: he seeks them,
them, keeps them all in view, tends to the injured, leads them to
Psalm then sings of the feeling of security and happiness given
the shepherd nearby (Responsorial Psalm). And Paul (2nd Reading) affirms that all ills, including
death, will be overcome.
According to biblical and non-biblical
7) regarding the judgement scenes, the
aim is not to describe what will happen, but to teach how
to behave in the present. Rather than information
about the future, it is a programme for living in the present! In the
light of the
final judgement, Jesus reveals the quality our actions must have; He teaches us how to lead our lives
so that we do not fall into constant error,
but discover the right path. The
only path is His: love of and service to those in need. “In the
life, we will be judged by our love” states St. John of the
Love for the least of all opens the gates of the
of God. “Come, you whom my Father has blessed...” (v. 34). Jesus points
way decisively. For four times he lists six acts of love towards
need: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the
in prison. To help these people is the task of every Christian and part
of the daily
work of missionaries, and indeed of the followers of all religions.
These acts of
love constitute a common ground with all people of good will. A list of
is found in Isaiah 58:6-7, but as long ago as the second millennium BC
of the Dead (ch. 125) of ancient Egypt attributes these words to a
“I have done what pleases the gods. I have given bread to the hungry, I
water to the thirsty, I have clothed the naked, and I have offered a
those who had no boat”. Jesus brings a decisive new point to these
works: He identifies
himself with the weakest and the smallest, to the point of
did it to me” (v. 40). The least are really the chosen
recipients of the
options of the Lord. Therefore, the preferential option for the
not an alternative to be taken or left; it is an obligation for
the Church, as John Paul
II affirmed powerfully towards the end of his life, inviting the
“stake everything on charity.” In this option the very fidelity of the
her Lord is on the line. (*)
It is perhaps the missionary witness of Blessed
Charles de Foucauld,
was deeply convinced of the presence of Christ in the poor among whom
he chose to
live, the desert Bedouins, all Moslems. Only a few weeks before his
death he wrote:
“I believe that there is no other saying in the Gospel that has struck
my life more than this: ‘whatever you do to one of these little ones, you
do to me’. If you think that these are
the words of the uncreated Truth,
the words of the mouth that said ‘This is my Body.... This is my
Blood’, with what
force is one driven to seek and love Jesus in these little ones,
Charles, the universal brother, was able to recognise the
presence of Christ
equally in the Eucharist as in the poor,
He was a true missionary witness.
(*) “We must
learn to see Christ especially in the faces of those with whom he
to be identified: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and
you… I was
a stranger… I was naked… I was sick… I was in prison and you came to
me” (Mt 25:35-36).
This Gospel text is not a simple invitation to charity: it is a
page of Christology
which sheds a ray of light on the mystery of Christ. By these
words, no less
than by the orthodoxy of her doctrine, the Church measures her fidelity
as the Bride
of Christ… As the unequivocal words of the Gospel remind us, there is a
presence of Christ in the poor, and this
requires the Church to make a preferential option for them”.
John Paul II
Ineunte (2001), n. 49
- 20/11: Solemnity
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the universe.
International Day for the Rights of Children, established by UNO in
Presentation of Mary in the Temple. – (Today or on another day).
Also a day
of prayer for the
enclosed religious of contemplative life.
- 22/11: Solemnity
of O. L. Jesus
Christ, King of the universe.
- 22/11: St.
Cecilia, Roman martyr.
- International Music Day.
- 23/11: St.
(+615), born in Ireland, itinerant missionary in France, Switzerland
founder of numerous monasteries.
- 23/11: Bl.
Michael Augustine Pro
(1891-1927), Mexican Jesuit, martyred during the persecution of the
Together with him are remembered many martyrs of the same period.
- 24/11: St. Andrew
(+1839), priest, and various other companions who were martyred in
John Paul II in 1988 canonised 117 of them: bishops, priests and
killed at different places, ways and times.
24/11: Bl. Peter
(1587-1639), Japanese Jesuit, and 187 martyred companions, killed
and 1639; of them four were priests and all the others laypeople, among
also some women and children. This third group of Japanese martyrs
of 1597 and 1622) were beatified at Nagasaki on 24 November 2008.
- 26/11: St.
Leonard of Porto Maurizio
(1676-1751), an itinerant Franciscan priest who preached missions to
people. He set up the devotion of the Way of the Cross.
- 26/11: Bl. James
Founder of the Pauline Family (around 10 institutes) to make the Gospel
present in the means of Social Communication, and for the fostering of
- 26/11: Memory of
Cardinal Charles Lavigerie
(1825-1892), French Bishop of Algiers, and Founder of the Missionaries
Africa (White Fathers).
In the steps of
*** Service information ***
- After more
than two complete
2005 to the
it is good to
have an interruption
about this weekly
again, including some improvements
and whatever else we may wish.
- The work of these years, however, that is the
homilies in the different
is kept in the
archives of the website:
can be visited any time, as it is available
to anyone wishing to
make use of it.
service in the various foreign languages is discontinued, then, but I
will continue to publish homilies
in the mentioned website,
and in other
only the Italian text,
to you all
my friends who, week after week, have followed and
us in this
- We say a
from me and from all of you, to
punctual, loyal and
by Fr. Romeo.Ballan, MCCJ – Comboni Missionaries (Verona)
by Fr. Henry Redaelli, MCCJ
Website: www.euntes.net “The
Word for Mission”