for Sunday, November 23, 2014
The King is a shepherd! It sounds like a children's story. We have images
of the Lord today that are so gentle and others that are fierce. These
images reflect how God has been experienced and also, most likely, a bit of
the truth of God. God loves us fiercely and is as gentle as He can be with
The Prophet Ezequiel in the First Reading, gives us a glimpse of God as the
tender shepherd, watching out over His sheep. This image, however, also
has the shepherd destroying the sleek and the strong. That is a bit of a
frightening vision, but reflects nevertheless that God is interested in the
poor, the strayed, the injured and the sick. The words of Scripture are
not always comforting for the sleek and the strong!
The First Letter to the Corinthians, which is the second reading today,
tells us in very simple words that everything, everyone, will become
subjected to Christ. Death will be conquered and everything that has been
created will become subject to Christ. Although this is a very
straightforward and sober image, we can imagine how different our world
would be if everything and everyone were completely in accord with the will
of the Lord. What a difference!
The Gospel from Matthew brings us to the image of the judgment. Using this
image, Matthew makes clear that it is a judgment based on our love and care
for others. This is where we are to focus our attention in this life:
love and care of others, especially for those who have most needs.
These three readings tell us what kingship and leadership and ruling over
others is about: love and care. Christ is our king and we are invited to
live the same way that He has lived. We are to be kings in the sense of
earthly rulers, but to be servants in the form that God has shown us.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Ezekiel 34.11-12, 15-17
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15.20-26, 28
Gospel: Matthew 25.31-46
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: