Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 22 November 2020
FEAST OF CHRIST, KING OF UNIVERSE
Ezek. 34:11-12,15-17; Ps. 23:1-2a,2b-3,5-6; 1Cor. 15:20-26,28; Matt. 25:31-46
This pericope is not only the end of Jesus’ sermon about the last days (Matt. 24-25), but also the end and the peak of of the 5 great sermons of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. Its position as the last and the peak of all the sermons of Jesus, has shown the importance of this sermon. The shepherd of that time usually separated the goats and sheep at the end of the day. During day time the goats and sheep were shepherded together. The goats helped the shepherd to “lead” the flock which could lose its way easily. At the cold night, the goats were protected by the sheep. The goats with their thin hair should be caged or put in the inner part when slept, surrounded by the sheep that shared the warmth from their thick hair.
“My least brother” (vv. 40 and 45) is generally used by Matthew to refer to Christian church. While “all nations” (v. 32) refers to all non-Christians. The main question that Matthew would like to answer is: What will God do to those people outside the Christian church? The criteria for those at the last trial is: how they treat Christ’s followers who are suffering and in need, especially the preachers or missionaries who travel around for evangelizing. Furthermore, Jesus equalizes Himself with these “least” people. The same thing that He says during Saul’s repentance on the way to Damascus. Persecuting the church means persecuting the Lord!
With this parable, you and I will be comforted and get a new insight. In this world not everyone hates us. There are still many people who are virtuous and love us. The Lord will certainly not forget those who do good to His people. On the other hand, the haters and persecutors of His church will receive the judgment accordingly. If justice is not enforced in this world, we still have the Judge of Justice who will judge them.
This parable certainly has a universal message. On the last day there will be separation, and it will shock all, both the left and the right. This is the typical style of apocalyptic literature: on the last day the covered identity of the Son of Man will be revealed. Where has He been “hiding” all this time? I find it very difficult to “see” Christ in simplicity and weakness. He is more easily associated with all the “great”: the greatest, the noblest, almighty, etc. My insight about Christ has been enriched. Christ, the Glorious King, will be met in the last day, when He appears as the Judge. For the present time, He is pleased to be seen in the least and the modest, the hunger, thirsty, naked, in prison, etc.
I also learn that love is never anonymous. It always has a name, eventhough it is invisible. Love always means taking part in Christ’s love, awared or not, admitted or not! Wherever love is practiced, there the love of Christ will occur, regardless of the flag and religion of the doers of love. The love of Christ can manifest beyond the boundaries of religion, ethnicity and language. All human beings will be judged by Him only under that criterion!
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Artificial intelligence: May all robotic technology advances and artificial intelligence can be controlled for the sake of its noble purpose, that is to serve the human and humanity. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
For fathers: May all fathers continue to realize their authority and wisdom as the head of the family in the midst of social current that eroding family life today. We pray …
We present all of the people in our Diocese to willingly fight for the justice in every residence and work. We pray …