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Scripture Reflections - November 22
Feast of Christ, King of the Universe

Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Matthew 25:31-46

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Today is the last Sunday of the Church year, the Feast of Christ our King. The readings sum up what we need to remember the most about living as a Catholic Christian, and how God (who is also our judge), will measure our success or failure in living with God for all eternity.

First, how does God like to think of Himself? Of all His titles, He wants to be known as a “shepherd” who guides and lead us all to His kingdom. The first reading from the prophet Ezekiel, reveals God’s displeasure with the ancient leaders of Israel. “I myself will look after and tend my sheep.” Tenderly He will watch out for our every need – “twenty-four seven!” “I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy or dark,” He says. Further, this perfect shepherd will seek out the lost, the injured and the sick.

Can you imagine how much loving care our Good Shepherd takes of each one of us? We know how often we have strayed away from one or other of the commandments, and how often we have strayed away from prayer. How did we ever get back? It was through the whisperings in our heart and the love of the Shepherd guiding us back.

He is a Good Shepherd guiding us all the time. How fortunate we are!

What a King we have! How lovable and just!

The second reading from St. Paul to the Corinthians shows us how we are promised resurrection and a share in the treasures of heaven through the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God. We could have no richer inheritance.

In the Gospel, we have all the guidelines spelled out for our “final exam.” Jesus will say to us, “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you … for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me…”

It all seems so simple. Anyone can share what they have or take time out to call a sick and lonely relative or acquaintance. If we welcome a stranger, then they can easily become our friend. All we have to do is to recognize Christ in everyone we meet.

This year is so different. Because of the virus, we need to observe social distancing and wearing of masks this year. We must take special precautions this Thanksgiving and Christmas. And it is so important for us to let the power of our faith work to heal our still divided country. God can still work miracles through us.

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