Archbishop’s Teaching

7th Sunday of the time of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Mattew 25 / 31 – 46 Receive for your inheritance the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world

The Time of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Homily of His Excellency Msgr Selim Sfeir
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

7th Sunday of the time of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Mattew 25 / 31 - 46

Receive for your inheritance the Kingdom
prepared for you since the creation of the world

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This Gospel passage is not a parable: the Lord speaks to us of the Last
Judgment that will take place when he returns in glory, and he asks us to
orient our whole life and every one of our actions according to this hope,
which can only be based on our faith. St. Paul forcefully taught the
Corinthians that " For now we see only a reflection, as in a mirror, but
then we will see face to face." (1 Cor 13:12)

1 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory (... )".
He is the Son of man who asks us to live in charity, and to do nothing
without this readiness to "see" his presence in everyone we meet
physically or "in thought". He wants us to understand that he wanted to
respond to the Father's aim through his Incarnation: "And the Word of
God plants his tent among us, sinners in need of mercy." (Pope Francis, Angelus of
January 5, 2014).
So my attitude and behaviour must be kind to everyone I meet. I am
invited to sincerely and truly live out what I believe: the Lord did not
become incarnate just for me, he achieved this abasement for each and
every human being, whether powerful or without any responsibility in the
world, whether sick or healthy, small or large, child, teenager, adult,
young or old....

2. "All nations will be gathered before him (...)".
God the Father sent his Son into the world so that the world could be saved
and find the path the Father wanted for every human being. Christ, the
Son of God, was sent by the Father to proclaim and bring salvation to
everyone, in every age and on every continent. And there, on that day, all
humanity will be able to see and understand "the breadth and length and
height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses
knowledge." (Eph 3:18) We will be judged with love and mercy, but also
with justice.

3. "He will separate men from one another (...)".
"Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you blessed of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
world" and to those on his left, "Whenever you did not do it to one of the
least of these, you did it to me.
The measure will be the same for all: justice will be proclaimed. Our
behaviour during our passage on earth will be judged according to the
good and evil we have done, and our sins of omission will also be judged:
our attention to others, our desire to do them good, to relieve them, will
be weighed and measured.
Our actions are important, and indicate our desire for the "final good" that
will enable us to see God face to face, and to know him as each of us is
known by him. Today, as yesterday, and until the last day, God wants to
establish his Kingdom, and he needs people. He needs the poor of heart,
those who hunger for justice, the merciful, those who live in peace and
propagate charity and truth; just as he needs those who are persecuted so
that his justice may be proclaimed and known: "God’s way of making
people right begins and ends with faith." as St. Paul taught the Romans
(Romans 1:17).

Lord, open my eyes and my heart. May I see you in everyone you put in
my path, and give them what they need.
Help me to realize that my actions will either lead me to you or away from
you. I want to reach that state where I am in full communion with you.
Never let me forget that the path that leads me there is that of love and
that to love is to give oneself to others, always seeking to do what is right.

† Mgr Selim Sfeir
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

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