I was naked and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me
Jesus used the title ‘King’ only for the hour when he will come again in his glory: however, his hidden presence in the poor and the marginalised is a reality now. He is the protector and defender of those whom society disdains. It is he whom we serve when we serve the world’s weakest.
The prophet Ezekiel tries to give hope to his fellow Israelites who had been deported to Babylon. In denouncing the bad shepherds he declares that God’s qualities can be compared to those of a caring shepherd, just as they are in psalm 22, which follows. The good shepherd comes to look after and watch out for his own; he rescues them from the darkness and from sin. He seeks out those who stray in error and brings them safely home.
The Lord will judge between sheep and sheep
The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them. As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.
Notes: This reading focuses on Christ and his coming in glory at the final time. The purpose of his kingly power is to bring his people from death to life, to destroy the influences of evil and bring us all together in God. The authority of Christ the King will be recognised when he, having dominion over all creation, destroys the enemies of God and puts all things under his feet.
Christ will hand over the kingdom to God the Father; so that God may be all in all
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet. And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.
Notes: The parable shows how the shepherd/king separates the good from the wicked: its central theme is a reflection on ordinary daily life and how it should be lived, being mindful of the end-time and judgement. The Law of Love, the criterion of judgement, will be the yardstick against which the disciples of Christ will be assessed. Christ must be served in the lives of those around us, most specially the weak, vulnerable and those who are burdened.
I was naked and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. ‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” ‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” ‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’
22nd November to 29th November
6.00pm - Ken Roberts RIP
9.00am - Michael Horrax RIP
11.00am - Parishioners
9.00am - Alice & Joseph D’Rose RIP
9.00am - Special Intention moc
9.00am - Moses Akpey RIP
9.00am - Joseph & Anthony RIP
9.00am - Thanksgiving
6.00pm - Paddy Shanahan RIP
9.00am - Holy Souls
11.00am - Parishioners
Shandrina Olive Skekel
Rachel Antonella Rizzo
Today we meet the Virgin Mary as the prayerful woman.
In her youth, the young girl of Nazareth wrapped in silence, in dialogue with God, who would soon entrust her with a mission.
Although she was already full of grace and immaculate from the moment she was conceived, she knew nothing of her surprising and extraordinary vocation and the stormy sea she will have to cross.
One thing is certain, Mary belongs to a great host of the humble of heart whom the official historians never include in their books, but whom God used to prepare for the coming of His Son.
Mary waited for God to take the reins of her path and guide her, and how she prepared, with great docility, the grand events in which God takes part in the world.
The Catechism, recalls her constant and caring presence in the benevolent design of the Father throughout the course of Jesus’s life.
Mary was praying when the Archangel Gabriel brought his message to her in Nazareth: Her small yet immense ‘Here I am,’ made all of creation jump for joy at that moment. That trusting obedience was preceded throughout salvation history by many other trusting obediences, by so many people who were open to God’s will.
An attitude of openness
There is no better way to pray than to place oneself in an attitude of openness: Lord, what You want, when You want, and how You want.
This attitude allows many believers to face reality without getting upset when their days are filled with problems, knowing that in humble love offered in each situation, we become instruments of God’s grace.
Prayer, knows how to calm restlessness, knows how to transform it into availability.
Many moments of tremendous trial were endured by the Virgin Mary and she was accompanied by prayer in every moment of her life, and in every moment of Jesus’ life, right up to His death and resurrection.
If in prayer we understand that each day given by God is a call, our hearts will then widen and we will accept everything. We will learn how to say: What You want, Lord. Promise me only that You will be present every step of my way.
Mother of God and Mother of the Church
Mary prayerfully accompanied the new-born Church and through her openness to the power of the Holy Spirit, the Mother of God thus became the Mother of the Church.
In the Virgin Mary, natural feminine intuition is exalted by her most singular union with God in prayer. This is why, reading the Gospel, we note that she seems to disappear at times, only to reappear for crucial moments: it was God’s voice that guided her heart and her steps where her presence was needed.
A splendid pearl
Saint Luke tells us that Mary “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Everything ends up in her heart so that it might pass through the sieve of prayer and be transfigured by it.
The Mother keeps everything and brings it to her dialogue with God. Someone has compared Mary’s heart to a pearl of incomparable splendour, formed and smoothed by patient acceptance of God’s will through the mysteries of Jesus meditated on in prayer. How beautiful it would be if we too could be a bit like our Mother!