Thirty-Fourth or Last Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THE KING
November 26, 2017

FIRST READING (Ezekiel 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 (Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6)

Refrain: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

1) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose. (Refrain:)

2) Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. (Refrain:)

3) You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Refrain:)

4) 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. (Refrain:)

SECOND READING (1 Corinthians 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 (Matthew 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."

(Copyright 1970, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2001 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc. Washington D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Copyright 1970, 1997, 1998 Contraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc. Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

The English translation of some Psalm responses, some Alleluia and Gospel verses and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, some Summaries, and the Titles and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass copyright 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc., Washington D.C. All rights reserved.

The poetic English translation of the sequences of the Roman Missal are taken from the Roman Missal approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States, copyright 1964 by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission of ICEL. )

Sources:

Matthew (Volume II)/ William Barclay, pp. 324 - 326 (cf. story of St. Martin of Tours)

Matthew/ John Meier, pp.301 - 306 (good insights, even if I don't use them this year)

The Martyrdom of Andy, from A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul, by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, pp. 50 - 54. Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla. 1995. (Specifically mentions "whatsoever you do to the least...".)

Homiletic Ideas:

Homily
Jesus In Our Hearts

(Have children come up around the altar to hear a story.)

(Ask children what they may have learned from the story, what was important to them, e.g.:

Have the children return to their places and then address the congregation.)

There are certain things which this gospel passage teaches us about the help which we must give:

Unless we tell others that we care about them, how do we expect them to know? Knowledge without action is not knowledge. If we love someone but don't tell them, how will they know for sure? Besides, don't we all like to be told that others care for us? Why should it be any different for them?

I would like to close with another short story:

Jesus has told us in today's gospel that any help we give to one another, we give to him. As the little girl said, Jesus is in the heart of each one of us, even if we don't know it and even if others don't know it. In our interactions with one another, we see only what our eyes see and not what our hearts should see, namely, that there is a piece of God in each one of us. The Little Prince has said that it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is important is invisible to the eye. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all saw God's glory inside each one of us, instead of the weak humanity with which that glory has been clothed? And don't forget that all it may take is as simple a thing as telling someone how much we love them.

References:

1. An Afternoon in the Park. Copyright 1995 by Julie A. Manhan. Reprinted with permission from A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, pp. 67-68. Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL.

2. Who You Are Makes a Difference, copyright 1993 by Helice Bridges. Reprinted with the permission of the author from Who I Am Makes a Difference, Difference Makers International, Del Mar, CA. (see also "Make a Difference"). Order your own blue ribbons by calling 1-800-887-8422. Also reprinted in Chicken Soup for the Soul, pp. 19-21. Copyright 1993 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL.

3. quote from Albert Schweitzer. Reprinted with permission from A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, pp. 49, copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL.

4. Barney. Source unknown. Reprinted with permission from A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, pp. 81, copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL.

(Copyright 2011 by the Spirit through Deacon Sil Galvan, with a little help from the friends noted above. Permission is freely granted for use, in whole or in part, in oral presentations. For permission to use in writing, please contact the human intermediary at deaconsil@comcast.net.)

Alternate Story:


Mother Teresa, the Wino and Me

(From Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul, pp. 193-195. Copyright 2000 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery and Nancy Mitchell Autio. Health Communications Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL.)

THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
November 26, 2017

Penitential Rite

Lord Jesus, you are the shepherd who gathers in the lost and cares for your sheep. Lord, have mercy.

Christ Jesus, you taught us that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do for you. Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, for all the times that we have failed to recognize you in one another. Lord, have mercy.

THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
November 23, 2014

Prayers of the Faithful

Celebrant: The prophet Ezekiel has reassured us that God will care for us as a shepherd watches over his sheep. Therefore, confident that he will hear us, we bring our needs, and the needs of one another, to the Father.

Deacon/Lector: Our response is "Lord, teach us how to love".

That the leaders of the Church will lovingly tend to the flocks entrusted to their care, we pray to the Lord.

That all peoples of the world will come to appreciate the customs and traditions of others and live peacefully with their neighbors, we pray to the Lord.

That the sick, the terminally ill and those who are grieving the loss of a loved one will come to know the healing touch of the Good Shepherd, we pray to the Lord.

That we may see in the faces of the homeless, the abused and the addicted the bruised and battered face of our suffering Savior, we pray to the Lord.

That all of our family members and friends will come to share in the promise of Christ's resurrection, we pray to the Lord.

For all of the intentions we hold in our hearts and which we now recall in silence. (Pause) For all of these intentions, we pray to the Lord.

Celebrant: Loving God and Father of all nations, you sent your Son to show us the depth of your love for all humankind. Grant us the grace of your Spirit to truly love one another as you have loved us. We ask this through Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen.