November 23, 2014 - Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

posted Nov 19, 2014, 11:12 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:31 PM ]

Gospel of Matthew 25: 31-46

Maricel's Reflection

A question I asked myself after reading this gospel is: Am I living my life in a way to get into heaven (to be seated at his right hand)? We are all aware of poverty and illness. We see the man dressed in all white who walks around Union City. We see people holding up signs as we wait for the light to turn green. Our hospitals are full of those fighting for their lives. My question then is: what are you going to do about it?

Personally, I believe this gospel was a reminder of our call to action. We are called to help one another and most definitely those who cannot help themselves. We believe that Jesus lives in all of us, so the man in all white, the people holding up signs, and that sick little girl in the hospital ARE ALL, JESUS.

The question then is: what can I do? We can share our leftovers, we can spare a couple dollars, we can offer a sandwich, we can knit a scarf, we can send coloring books, we can sit by someone's bedside...The possibilities are plentiful.

This gospel reminds me to exercise empathy and to act upon it!

 Alfred's Reflection

I noticed the stranger first. Soon the room hushed as others noticed him. We had rented a large meeting room and catered food for my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner. The group of extended family and a few friends were semi-formally dressed for the meal, laughing, and sharing stories. The stranger in a sweatsuit walked in a side door and walked straight to the buffet table without making eye contact or greeting anyone. Perhaps he thought he was invisible.

My mom turned around and interrupted my dad’s conversation. “Take care of him,” she said as she waved toward the stranger.

Time to ask the party crasher to bounce out of here, I thought to myself. Others in the party returned to their conversations, but I was interested in what happened next.

My dad approached the stranger, welcomed him, and offered him a plate. My dad proceeded to make conversation as they walked up the buffet line, loading up on salad, chicken, and pasta. My dad apologized for not having disposable forks and asked the man to return the silverware when he was done.

As all this was happening, like a fog being lifted, I remembered today’s Gospel: “'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?’” I’ve known this passage for nearly all of my life and taught it as a confirmation for nearly all of my adult life and yet I failed to recognize and act on an opportunity to live it.

When you’re consciously trying to do the right thing, it’s easy to hear Jesus’ teaching and not too hard to do. The challenge is to live out Jesus’ teaching when no one is watching, to turn it into automatic reflexes. In addition, Jesus calls us to take care of those in need with love in our hearts and not out of a sense of obligation.

I’ve thought about that wedding reception many times and how I came up short. When the next opportunity comes, I pray that I do the right thing with the right attitude.