for Sunday, November 23, 2008
Today, the last Sunday in the liturgical year, we celebrate and confess Christ as our king. The readings invite us to reflect on the kind of king Christ is and what it means for us to truly say that we belong to his kingdom.
First God raised up prophets to warn the kings. When they failed to listen, God decided to get rid of the ungodly kings and their beneficiaries, and promised that He would shepherd the flock Himself. As Christians we see that this promise is fulfilled in the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ whose kingship we celebrate today. Jesus has begun his reign as king, but he will come on Judgment Day to bring it to completion. On that day he will sit on his throne and sort out from all nations those men and women, boys and girls who really belong to his kingdom.
The specific actions mentioned are: feeding the hungry: giving drink to the thirsty: clothing the naked: sheltering the homeless: visiting those in prison, and taking care of the sick. Add burying the dead, and you have the traditional Seven Corporal Works of Mercy. The Final Judgment on whether we are true Christians or not, whether we belong to the kingdom of Christ or not, will be based on whether or not we have done the corporal works of mercy. This is our number one moral obligation both as individual men and women and as a family of believers.
The good news we celebrate today is that we have a King who, unlike the kings of this world, pays attention to us and helps us not only when we are needy and disadvantaged, but especially when we are needy and disadvantaged. The challenge for us today is to forget our own needs for love and happiness and to reach out in love to make someone happy who may be in greater need. For whatever we do to the least of these needy children of God, theses brothers and sisters of Jesus, we do to Jesus Himself.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: