Christ the King!

The feast of Christ the King

Today the Church celebrates the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday will be the beginning of a new Liturgical Year and it starts with Advent. This last Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. Christ is not only a King, he is also a shepherd. He takes care of us and looks for us when we are lost. He has always been the King of everyone, and he will remain the King of all. He is a different King to worldly kings and governments. He is a leader who is ready to serve and he always wants to be near us. He is a King who loves his subjects.

Jesus calls those people who helped and loved others, sheep, and those who ignored his teaching and were indifferent to the needs of others, goats. According to the Gospel, both groups are surprised, the ones who lived according to the Word of God are just as surprised as those who lived in an egoistic way. It could very well be that the ‘goats’ thought that if they harmed no one, they would be pleasing God. Today’s episode brings to mind another of Jesus’s teachings, where he said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 7, 21). Therefore, although it may be true that a person may not harm anyone, yet, if that person ignores the needs of others, he/she will not be pleasing God. Our love of God is shown through our good actions. Words alone are not enough.

It does not mean, that Jesus is expecting great, impossible things from us, he wants us to show love and mercy towards others. He tells us that he notes even the smallest, good thing we do, which to us may seem insignificant. Mother Teresa used to say that not all of us are expected to do great things, but all of us are expected to do small things with great love. On reading this passage, one notes that Jesus does not say that the good things were done in his name, but rather that these good things were done to him. Jesus identifies himself with the poor and suffering. Every time we turn away from the needs of our brothers and sisters, we would be turning away from Jesus. This is not a reading about what is to happen in the future, but about the way we are living today. Jesus wants us to stop and reflect. Are we living as brothers and sisters? Do we love others? Are we merciful? Now is the time to change, before it will be too late.

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 25, 31-46) 

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. If I was to meet Jesus today, would he place me with the sheep or with the goats? If you feel that Jesus would place you with the goats, what are the reasons for this? How can you change for the better?
  4. Who is Jesus for you? Is he your King? Listen to That’s my King and see if this describes Jesus to you.
  5. To finish this moment of reflection, slowly recite the Creed, where we state that “He will come again to judge the living and the dead.”
  6. Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St Matthew (25, 31-46)
    ii. A lit candle
    iii. Cover the table with green cloth;
    iv. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  7. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  8. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  9. Be creative 😊

Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. Jesus, our King, will tell us how he would like us to live.

  • Jesus is a King who loves us and who takes cares of us
  • Jesus wants us to love others, in the same way that he loves us
  • Printout of the crown
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Colours and decorations
  • Glue or stapler
  • Pictures of people who are helping and showing love to others (friends hugging each other, someone helping another person who has fallen down, helping at home, children playing, children caring for their pets, children with their grandparents, children paying attention in class, children sharing their sweets / lunch / toys)
  • Pictures of people who are not behaving in a way that pleases Jesus (children fighting, children making fun of others, children hurting their pets, angry children, children breaking toys of others)
  • A picture of a sheep
  • A picture of a goat

Today Jesus tells us that he is a King and that he is also a Shepherd.  Jesus is unlike the kings we sometimes see in films or read about in stories. Jesus is a king who loves everyone. He helps everyone and wants everyone to be happy. Like the shepherd who loses one of his sheep, Jesus is unhappy when we are not his friends or when we are unhappy. The kings we see in films or read about in books, have many people who serve them. Our king is Jesus and to please our king, we need to do what pleases him. Jesus, wants us to love others, to help others and to be friends with everyone.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about separating those who love him and do what he wishes and he calls these sheep. He calls goats, those who do not love others. We have several pictures. We are going to divide them. If the picture shows something which pleases Jesus, we will place it with the picture of the sheep, if not, we will place it with the picture of the goat. 

Earlier, we said that Jesus is our king and that we are to obey him. For today’s activity we are going to make a crown. Glue the printout of the crown onto the construction paper and cut it. Then colour and decorate it. Fix the ends with glue or with the stapler.

Form a circle, and listen to these songs: We are royalty and Jesus is the king, ruler over everything . Whilst the music is playing, pass the crown from one person to another. Someone takes care of the music and stops it after some time. The person who has the crown, puts it on and says something about Jesus (for example, Jesus forgives, Jesus loves children, etc) or else says something which we can do to be like Jesus (for example, I share what I have with others, I am friends with everyone). This game (played like we play Pass the parcel), continues until everyone has worn the crown at least three times.

Sign of the cross.

Jesus, you are my king. I want to love you and obey you. Help me to love others and to help them too, even when I do not feel like. I know that when I love others and when I help others, I would be loving and helping you.

Today we celebrate the feast of Jesus our King. Today Jesus is going to tell us how he wishes us to behave towards others. He tells us that he wants us to help others, to care for them and to love them.

  • When we care for others, it will be like we are caring for Jesus
  • Printout of the Works of Mercy
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Today, Jesus mentions sheep and goats.
Who are the sheep? (those who love Jesus and show this by helping others)
Who are the goats? (those who say that they love Jesus, but do not help others)
Whom would you like to resemble? The sheep or the goats? 

It could very well be that after listening to the Gospel, you say, “but I do not know anyone who has nothing to eat! Or who is thirsty and has nothing to drink! They tell me not to speak to someone whom I do not know. So how am I to welcome someone if I do not know them? I have never seen anyone so poor that he was naked in the streets! I am still too young, how can I heal the sick? Everyone is telling me to be careful and not go near someone who is sick. My parents will not allow me to go and visit someone in prison. I do not think that what Jesus is saying applies to me”.

What you are thinking is very true and we should obey others when it is for our own good. However, what Jesus is saying also applies to children your age. Jesus wants us to help and love others.

What can we do to be like the sheep? What can we do to love and help others? (examples may include: I give money from my pocket money to the poor, I do not ignore children who have no friends, I call my friends who are sick and help them with their school work, I visit/call grandparents, I make cards for them and tell them that I love them, I hug my parents, brothers and sisters and tell them that I love them, I help friends who happen to have some accident, while I avoid making fun of them, I do not join others who are calling someone names, I help my younger siblings, I play with them and take care of them, I help in the house, I forgive others, I share what I have with others).

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to us about the Works of Mercy. These are divided into two: the corporal and the spiritual. These are a list of actions that we do to show others that God loves them and cares for them. The Corporal Works of Mercy gather the actions through which we can help others in their material needs, while the Spiritual Works of Mercy gather the actions through which we may help others emotionally and spiritually.

It is good to learn the Works of Mercy, however it is more important to do them. This week’s activity is about them. Cut out the printouts and fix them back to back, then fold them, like a fan, as you see in the picture. Keep them near your bed, so that before going to sleep, you can remember what you did during the day, see if there was something you could have done better and ask Jesus to help you make better choices.

Whilst doing this activity listen to Jesus is the King.

Sign of the cross.

St Theresa of Avila: 

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Jesus, help me and give me the courage to be your hands, feet, and eyes. I want to love you by loving others. Thank you, Jesus, for always being by my side, for loving and caring for me.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.