for Sunday, November 20, 2011
The whole idea of Christ as king seems less acceptable in many nations and
countries today. A lot of this rejection of the image of Christ the King
comes because of the rejection of kingship and kingdoms in general. On the
other hand, it is difficult to find a common word that describes the people
who lead the various countries. We would smile, I think, if we had a
Solemnity of Christ the Leader! Or a Solemnity of Christ the President!
What we are called to recognize in this solemnity is that whatever form
leadership takes today, Jesus Christ is the ultimate of leadership and all
true leadership must be based on Him in some way. We Christians are not
advocating a return to kingship as the normal form of leadership.
The readings today immediately show us what true leadership is about. The
true leader is the one who consistently seeks out those in his care and
tries to do what will really help them. The Prophet Isaiah compares the
people to a flock of sheep. Sheep are notoriously stupid and can also be
very stubborn. We are kind of like that in our lives. Yet the Lord comes
looking for us and never wants to lose us. A true leader looks after all
of his flock.
The second reading, from the First Letter to the Corinthians, speaks
clearly about the kingdom that the early Christians were expecting. It is
clearly not a kingdom based here on earth but based on the life to come.
True, the kingdoms of this earth, the countries of this earth, the
leadership of this earth, must eventually all come to Jesus and acknowledge
Him. How that will happen, we have no idea. It must happen all the time,
not just at the end of the world. Anything that pulls our societies away
from the Lord truly destroys our humanity.
The Gospel tells us what the earthly kingdom is supposed to be life and
how we are supposed to live in this earthly life. It is always so very
simply and yet it seems always to evade us: love one another by serving
one another: when we see another person hungry and feed him; when we see
someone thirsty and give them drink; when we see a stranger and welcome
him; or someone naked and clothe them; when we see someone ill or in
prison, and visit them. It is all so easy. Yet we don't live that way
May Christ be our king today and lead us to live as He lived and to love
all peoples as He loves them.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: