What a fitting way to end the Liturgical Year than to celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe! The Gospel reading today (Mt. 25: 31-46) provides insights into what’s important for God.The judgment that will be made will be based on the acts of mercy and compassion that we’ve done for the least — the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the ill, and the imprisoned. Indeed, Christ who suffered on the Cross identifies Himself with the least, the lost and the last. Jesus’ Kingship is unlike any other worldly monarch, but one characterized by being our Good Shepherd. Rather it is His desire that we become His faithful followers, ever offering guidance and protection. He wants us to voluntarily accept Him into our lives, never forcing Himself on us.
In the previous week’s the Parable of the Talents, the Gospel teaches us that the gifts and abilities that God has bestowed on us have been given with the intention to be used for the service of others, especially the least in society. God is telling us that whenever we have served these least ones, we have served Christ the King Himself.
In my own experience, God is real and has always exceeded our own generosity; He gives cheerfully, abundantly and lovingly. These are all because He loves us unconditionally and faithfully. When we place ourselves under His Lordship, He becomes our constant companion, always ready to assist us whenever we invoke His Holy Name. Growing in intimacy with Him will make us obedient, mindful and sensitive to His leadings. We become sensitive to the Spirit of God, allowing Him to move us, so that we become His hands in helping others. Have you noticed it that when you pray for help and guidance, the Lord sends angels in disguise to our aid? In a way, when we pray to the Spirit to give us wisdom and discernment we can share ourselves with others because we are fully attuned with what the Lord wants us to do in particular moments. Besides unless we share ourselves with others, we can never be fully happier, right?
There’s a lot to be grateful for especially the richness of our family life, the blessings He has given us, and the peace of mind that we have, regardless of the challenges and problems that come with these troubling times.God’s abundance in giving and blessing us only show how He wants us to be happy. This happiness will be complete whenever we reflect His generosity, cheerfulness, and love towards others — especially those in need. We have to demonstrate that what we have are meant to be shared whenever necessary. We have to realize that when we have that attitude of giving, we allow the Lord to use us to be His face.
Giving generously. When we give, the Lord wants us to include those people outside our family and friends; He wants us to be generous as well to those who are most in need of help as these verses clarify,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Mt. 25: 40)
Being generous doesn’t exactly mean just simply giving, it means, in a way that shows a readiness to give more of something than is expected. When situations arise such that our generosity is required, as followers of Jesus it is our turn to demonstrate that kind of unselfishness to the least, the last and the lost.
Giving cheerfully. The King will reward us when we give cheerfully and without reservation. Way back in college I became close with this classmate and brother Ariel, who is so generous with others. He is always looking for ways to help and give. He is such a caring person and his outlook in life simply inspires! And what a way God returns the blessings to him: while spending more time to God’s work, his business has grown more than expectations.
Giving lovingly. We can’t give generously unless our intention is governed by love. When our motivation is Jesus, when we see Him in the face of the poor, there can be abundant love to share with others,
“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.” (Mt. 25: 35-36)
Life is complete when we are selfless and loving with others. Doing this will make others happy and the fulfillment in doing comes back to us in so many ways. It is then when we realize that acquiring more possessions and wealth don’t bring happiness; it is when we become mindful of the needs of others and share what we have in the name of Jesus that bring us deeper joy and fulfillment. Isn’t a giving, caring and loving life more wonderful?
As we close the liturgical year, let us reflect on how we’ve lived: Are we worthy to be in the company of the “sheep on the King’s right”? Are we ready to meet Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King?
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!” (Mk. 11: 9,10)