Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
April 23, 2024

Ordinary Time

For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Solemnity of Christ the King

Reading I : Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17

I will tend my sheep.

  • The shepherd image is a favorite in the Scriptures.
  • In ancient times, the king was often called the shepherd of his people.
  • In today's first reading, the prophet Ezekiel contrasts the wicked shepherds, who exploit the flock and neglect the weak, with God, who gives rest to the flock.

Reading II : 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28

Christ has been raised from the dead.

  • In Paul's description of the Resurrection, Christ was the King, the shepherd, who laid down his life for the flock.
  • The Corinthians doubted the reality of the resurrection for humans.
  • But, according to Paul, to deny the resurrection of believers was also to deny the Resurrection of Christ.

Gospel : Matthew 25:31-46

When did we see you hungry?

  • Today's discourse on the end time in Matthew is a description of the final judgment under the figure of a king-shepherd who separates the good and bad animals in his flock. The bad are identified as goats and the good as sheep.
  • The goats and sheep represent "all the nations," all peoples who had been called together for this judgment.
  • The point of the image is that all people will be judged by God as to how well they care for the weak and disadvantaged. Caring for "the least" of our sisters and brothers seems to be our highest calling!