34 A CHRIST THE KING

MATTHEW 25: 31 – 46

PRAYER

Let us pray. Father all-powerful, God of love, open our hearts, free all the world to rejoice in your peace, to glory in your justice, to live in your love. Bring all humankind together in Jesus Christ your Son, whose kingdom is with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

COMMENTARY

Matthew’s Book 5, opens with Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem. He uses six parables, which we have reflected on over the past few weeks, to teach us about the Kingdom of God.

  1. The two sons 21: 26; 2. The tenants 21: 33; 3. Marriage Feast 22: 1; 4. Ten Virgins 25: 1 5. Talents 25; 14; 6. Last Judgement 25: 31

A text from Ezekiel sets the scene for the climax of Book Five.

11Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep.  12As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered
when it was cloudy and dark.
15I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.
16 The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal, shepherding them rightly.

17As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. (Ez 34: 11- 12, 15 – 17)

This text gives us a clearer understanding of our God.  Keep this in mind as you read the Parable of the Last Judgement. Please note that this a parable, not a description of what will happen in the future.

Today’s reading opens with this statement:

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32All the nations will be gathered before him,

This does not mean that God will arrive on a cloud shaped like a Mercedes surrounded by angels.  The message is GOODWILL TRIUMPH.

Matthew closes his final book with a dramatic scene.  He is summing up the essence of Jesus’ message. Four times he repeats this message just in case you are tempted to overlook it.

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Mt 25: 35 – 36)  This is the essence of Jesus’ message.  Think on these things.