The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The feast of Christ the King brings the church’s year to a close and with it comes a reminder that the cycle of our own lives here on earth will also reach its completion.The end of the year is review time and affords us the opportunity to take stock of our behaviour as members of God’s household.The gospel points out very forcible that admission into our eternal home depends on the effort we make to aid and comfort the less fortunate.We will be assured of a place in Christ’s kingdom only if we treat others as Christ treats them.This is a challenging gospel which takes on exceptional importance as it portrays a powerful image of judgement and presents us with the stark choice of being for or against Christ.There is no in between.Whatever good or evil we do to others is done to him.Christ rules in our hearts and in the world around us when we give of our time, energy and love in performing practical acts of charity.
Live in me and let me live in you, says the Lord; my branches bear much fruit.
The message in today’s gospel parable is to make a great deal more of life, to tackle it positively and with enthusiasm, by reaching out beyond our own selfish world and taking the risk of sharing something of ourselves with others.It’s worth remembering that the times when we experience true happiness and real satisfaction are normally those which find us completely absorbed in caring for the less fortunate or supporting a worthwhile cause.In a real sense we come closer to God when we help to further the growth of his kingdom on earth by our actions.Few among us will be given the opportunity of performing the spectacular, but never forget we will be remembered for our little daily acts of decency and kindness which we regard as nothing special.Ordinary work, when done with enthusiasm and a willing heart, helps the love of God to be made visible in the dark corners of life.
Keep awake and be ready: you do not know when the Son of Man is coming.
An essential part of the Christian life is to cultivate a personal relationship with God, which each one must posses, work at and live because it cannot be borrowed at the last minute. We do this by developing a calm and believing attitude as we go about our normal work. There is no better way of achieving this than by using those spare moments during the day to share our thoughts, plan and worries with Christ, in prayer, telling him what’s on our mind and asking him to guide us.Christ is always prepared to meet us, so we, on our part, must be prepared to meet him.He does not give us an appointment but comes as he wills into our lives.The gospel brings home the importance of being ready and prepared while we wait, by loving God and our neighbour.
Lord, you will show me the path of life and fill me with joy in your presence.
This gospel is a challenge to all Christians about the quality of their worship and the witness of their faith.If we are to live up to what we profess as followers of Christ we must mean what we say and do what we mean.All of us are in constant danger of not living up to our ideals.Those of us who are in the public eye are being asked if we perform good words for the glory of God or to seek our own advancement.We have lost our way when the search for human approval becomes uppermost in our lives.As parents, any correction of children falls on deaf ears when our own behaviour is irresponsible and our language foul.As actions speak louder than words we must match our external behaviour with an inner genuineness.In all circumstances of life we lead by example and that is what will bring others to Christ.
Love of God and love of neighbour.
Loving our neighbour as ourselves is a necessary element in giving our hearts and minds to God and that is where the challenge lies.It is wonderful in theory but difficult to put into practice.To love one’s neighbour can be challenging especially when the people next door are inquisitive and their children downright bad-mannered, not to mention the work-mate who is trying on our nerves.To show love in such circumstances is dreadfully difficult and demands great effort and yet, more often than not, we meet God in such an encounter.Make no mistake, our religion becomes an escape and our holiness an illusion if we pray daily, go to church on Sundays, yet cut ourselves off from the people who are worshipping under the same roof as ourselves.God cares about how we treat others.Everyone is made in his image and likeness.