The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle A for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time the 34th Week of Ordinary Time, is Matthew 25:31-46.

In this reading for the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Jesus Christ as the Universal King. Responding to the growing secular and atheistic culture, Pope Pius XI established this great feast in 1925 to remind humanity each year of Christ’s absolute reign over mankind.

In the Parable of the Sheep and Goats, Christ confirms the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven, Hell and each soul’s eternal Judgment.  Christ reigns authoritatively (The King of the Universe, seated on a throne) as the glorious King of the Kingdom of Heaven, a place of great honor ( the “right hand” in ancient cultures was a place of the good and honorable), surrounded by angels since the foundation of the world. Christ confirms that Hell, a place of dishonor and punishment (the “left hand” represented evil and dishonor) is a place of eternal fire, prepared for the rebellious dark angel Satan, his demons and the souls of the evil.  Christ will judge the nations and all men at the end of time, drawing some (the sheep, the right hand) to the blessings of the Father in Heaven and banishing others (goats, the left hand) to the curses of Satan in the eternal fire.

Christ perfectly loves and personally identifies with His disciples (“brothers of mine”) and the suffering (“the least”). Christ mysteriously knows who cares for those who suffer and those who abuse and neglect the suffering. Christ gives very specific examples of merciful acts that He calls men to perform: to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to welcome the stranger, to clothe the naked, to comfort the sick and to visit the imprisoned (The Corporal Works of Mercy include these and add bury the dead).

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ sets the criteria by which nations and men will be judged and confirms the reality of Heaven (Eternal Life) and Hell (Eternal Punishment); He knows the details of every soul’s acts of mercy. Divine King and Divine Judge, Christ has the authority to judge all mankind. Divine Mercy, Christ seeks to comfort the suffering of men and urges men to do the same.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Be filled with awe at Christ’s clear proclamation of His Eternal Kingship and His authority over all men in life and death.

2) Each time a Catholic man prays the Lord’s Prayer, he proclaims belief in Christ the King.  Review the Catechism’s teaching on Thy Kingdom Come (CCC 2804, 2816-2821, 2855-2856, 2859) and pray for Christ to help you always pray the Our Father with deep reverence.

3) Based on Christ’s teaching, the Church has traditionally taught men about the Last Four Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. Review the Church’s teaching on the Four Last Things (CCC 1015-1019, 1051-1065) and pray for Christ your King to help you long for His Kingdom of Heaven and continue to grow towards sainthood.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory

Virtue of the Day – Prudence

Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant