Homily for the feast of Christ the King - Year A - Mt. 25:31-46
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" Jesus said: «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 thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' 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 thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' 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.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" «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.» "
 
After his death, Jesus went through three stages, and in each stage his body was in a different position: lying in the tomb, in death; standing at his resurrection and when he appeared to his disciples; sitting at the right hand of his Father, in Heaven. It is in this last position that Jesus will judge all nations assembled before him on the Day of the Last Judgment.
 
Our spiritual life follows the same pattern: first we are lying down, inert, without life, until someone plunges us under the water of baptism and makes us, through the Holy Spirit, partakers in the Resurrection of Christ. Then, we walk, following the Lord Jesus, following in his footsteps, our head lifted up to Heaven, but our feet on the ground. We are standing, in this intermediary position, that of awaiting the Lord: "And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Lk. 21:27-28)
 
When Jesus will return and sit on his throne, he will not be the only one sitting. All the elect, all who will have followed the Lord, bearing his Cross, all of them, already resurrected and saved by their perseverance until the end (cf. Mt. 24:13), will also be seated with Christ: "In the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Mt. 19:28)
 
" «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 thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' 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.'» "
 
Where will we be on Judgment Day? On the left or on the right? Will we be seated at the right hand of Christ, as He himself is seated at the right hand of his Father? Or... will we be on his left, in an absolutely uncomfortable position?
 
Jesus listed some good actions that we should do if we want to share in his Kingdom. Without wanting to stray from the subject of this homily, I would like to update this enumeration of good works by pointing out certain actions to do or not do, relating to issues proper to our time.
 
Children have the right to life: contraception and abortion are sins. Children have the right to have a male father and a female mother: homosexuality is a sin. The elderly have the right to live until the end: euthanasia is a sin.
 
Man and woman must respect each other: adultery is a sin, beating one's wife is a sin.
 
The crisis in vocations in the Church does not authorize women to claim a right to the priesthood. Pope John Paul II, Servant of God, had already declared, in a definitive manner, on May 22 1994: "Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."
 
See the Apostolic Letter "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis":
in French:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_fr.html
in English:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_en.html
 
I wanted to go over these few points of doctrine or morality because the media often discuss these questions, notably here in Europe, leaving the faithful in doubt and uncertainty...
 
" «And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.» "
 
Let us all have great confidence in the Sacred Heart of Jesus: it is He who, through Mary, will lead us to his Kingdom! May the grace of the Holy Spirit help us to be true children of our Father in Heaven!
 

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