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Scripture Reflections

Feast of Christ, King of the Universe – Nov. 26

Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
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 of failure in living with Him 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 leads 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!

No wonder our present Holy Father, Pope Francis, is so upset with clergy and laypeople who think of their own comfort first and neglect to care for beggars and the crippled and the needy. He’s upset when we don’t think of them as children of God, the same as we are, and as our brothers and sisters.

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 visit 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.

All we have to do is to listen more to the voice of Jesus speaking through the church and through the Holy Father, and through our really good friends whom we can trust.

If we are alert and really follow His love, then we are promised Heaven in the company of the King Himself! This week marks the end of the Church year. It’s the end of one journey and the beginning of the new one next Sunday as Advent begins.

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