Some of the most dramatic biblical imagery comes on this last Sunday of our liturgical year. The overall imagery on this feast is striking: Israel’s rulers do not adequately care for their people; so, God will do it, as both shepherd and judge. But, the responsibility for the neediest shifts in the Gospel. When the Son of Man comes in glory, He will judge us for our acts of mercy. We cannot look to God to care for those in need. The job is now ours, and the King now judges us.
The closing of the church year is an opportunity for deep reflection. We hear advice again today about paying attention and planning for what will inevitably come in each of our lives. Our readings speak of wisdom, courage and using the strengths and gifts given. As Thanksgiving and the onslaught of the coming holiday season collide, this may be a good time to take a breath, step back, and think about what really matters.
It’s easy to become complacent about life, our faith, and our commitments when we are caught up in the demands of daily life. As we approach the end of this liturgical year, we are called to pay attention to what really matters. Today’s readings remind us to focus on the bigger picture of eternal life and to question our focus, our energy and how we use our resources. We are called to look away from the superficial and to remember that time is not unlimited. We do not know the day nor the hour when we will be thrust into eternity. How are we preparing for it?
Throughout Judeo-Christian history, people have explored how to live as God’s people. Reflecting on our bottom line as committed Christians could not be more relevant in our current political and economic climate. Today’s readings reiterate that faithful living means — at rock bottom — loving and caring for one another, especially the most vulnerable. The instructions could not be simpler. That we still need to hear this reminds us that simple does not mean easy.
In today's Gospel the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a question about the law. Pretending to seek wisdom, they are already convinced of their righteousness. Aren't we like that sometimes, unable to hear another person if we feel threatened? We pray today that our ears remain open to God's message, our eyes open to God's face in each other, our hearts open to God living within us.
Who is truly righteous? In today’s readings, as throughout the Gospel, it isn’t always who we might think. Appearances may deceive us, and we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others. There is hope for those of us who recognize our mistakes, rely on God’s mercy, and make changes. Self-emptying seems outdated in our current culture fascinated with celebrity, hubris and arrogance. But as followers of Jesus, we are called to examine our own lives and walk in humility. God is waiting for us there. THERE IS NO AUDIO ON THIS RECORDING
Today’s Gospel presents us with the Holy Family experiencing a situation common to many families: the desperate loving search for a lost child and the obedience and respect required of children by their parents. As we prepare to be nourished in word and in sacrament, let us listen to the humanity exhibited by the Holy Family and know that their experience is that of the Christian family, and that we can ask their intercession for the families of our parish. Let us come before the Lord with grateful hearts seeking mercy and pardon for our sins.
Today we hear that strange Gospel story about the two sons – one who says “Yes” to his father’s request, but then fails to do as he promised; the other who initially says “No,” but then reconsiders and does as his father asked. Our actions are more important than our words. Let us remember that our Lord is one Whose words and actions are always faithful and Who calls us to be like Him.
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