November is a month filled with preparation. At the end of it, we will gather with friends and family and give thanks at the annual Thanksgiving meal. Then, we prepare ourselves for the joyous celebration of Christmas and the start of a new year.
The Church is also getting ready. The readings for the final Sundays of the liturgical year teach us that the basic requirement for entering the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes is readiness. We may have the tree trimmed and a feast for our loved ones, but are we spiritually ready for the coming of Christ?
Salvation is a complimentary gift and nothing we do can earn it. However, entry to the kingdom of heaven is not a given; the door to salvation may be locked. Readiness is essential. As the liturgical year nears its close, the readings are a reminder that while we wait for the arrival of the Lord we need to live faithfully, actively taking responsibility for the talents we have been given according to our abilities.
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me,” said Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel.
Jesus’ message in the final Gospel for the year could not be clearer: At the final judgment, the Son of Man will examine our response to our brothers and sisters in need. We are called to serve those who are without, not only in order to merit our salvation but because we recognize Christ in them.
When I reflect on this reading, I cannot help but to think of you and the many friends of Mercy Home. You so generously share your time, treasures, talents and prayers with the young people of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me,” said Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel. I pray you remember to serve because whether neighbor or stranger, they are in need. The Lord does no less in shepherding His people and expects no less of us. Because it is through us that He works. As you anticipate the joyous season ahead, remember also to take this time of year to evaluate your preparedness for the glory of Christ’s second coming.