Theme of the Sunday: A Judge Who Saves. Both the first reading and the gospel speak of separating sheep from goats. It is a distinction used by God who has only one criterion: how we love others. Our lives are successes or failures on the basis of what we have done to alleviate hunger, thirst, exile, nakedness, disease, prison. Jesus tells us that our religion is summed up in the diligence and zeal with which we fight against these situations. To drive home this truth even more, he uses the image of the final judgement not to show us what will happen at the end of the world, but to teach us what should really count in our lives. The second reading teaches us that the kingdom of the Messiah built in this world is through works of love for others
Entrance Antiphon Rv 5:12;1:6
How worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and divinity, and wisdom and strength and honour. To him belong glory and authority for ever and ever.
Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe; grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from, slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord…
You, my flock, I judge between sheep and sheep, rams and he-goats.
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 34: 11-12.15-17)
Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice. As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, rams and he-goats.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM psalm 23:1.2a.2b.3.5.6(R.1)
R/. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd;
There is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
Where he gives me repose. R.
Near restful waters he leads me;
He revives my soul.
He guides me along the right path,
For the sake of his name. R.
You have prepared a table before me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
My cup is over flowing. R.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for length of days unending. R.
He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, so that God may be ever thing to every one.
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15:20-26.28)
Brethren: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For a sin Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule 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 all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to everyone.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Mark 11:9b.10a
Alleluia. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Alleluia.
He will sit on his glorious throne and he will separate them one from another.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 25:31—46)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. “Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of 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, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, 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, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
God is the true king over the whole universe. Christ had delivered the kingdom to God the father after destroying every rule, every authority and every power (1 Cor 15:24). He must reign until all his enemies are put under his feet, the last of which is death. He accomplished this through his resurrection. The parable of the last judgement shows that everybody will be rewarded according to his/her deeds. It is a call to be sensitive to the needs of the people around us and offer them the needed help. Our help to people should be motivated only by the love of Christ. Every good deed done for the love of Christ is actually done to Christ. If we want to reign with him eternally in his heavenly kingdom, we have to feed the hungry, help the sick, the naked, those in the prison and such others.