Bulletin: November 26th, 2017
Imagine a place where no one is hungry or thirsty, homeless or in need. In this place, people would willingly offer care to those who are ill or in prison; no one would be lonely or displaced. Everyone would be honored as people who possess inherent dignity as children of God. This is the image Jesus paints of his kingdom. Christ has established his kingdom here on earth, and yet there is much in the world that awaits its full and eternal expression. We see glimpses of it in the selfless care of people for the poor, imprisoned, sick, and lonely. These glimpses, and the words of Christ himself, urge us to be people who care for the least ones among us. Jesus tells us that in doing so, we care for Christ himself, who is our Lord and King.
JESUS, SHEPHERD AND KING
Jesus is our Good Shepherd. The shepherd gathers and protects the sheep, feeding them, and tending to their needs. “I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark,” the Lord tells Ezekiel (Ezekiel 34:12). The shepherd also guides the sheep that do not follow as they should: “but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly” (Ezekiel 34:16). As sheep in God’s pasture, we are to listen and respond to the voice of the shepherd, growing in obedience and following him. Jesus Christ is also the king of the universe. As king, Christ will judge our actions or lack of action. To live as people who belong to Christ, we must allow Christ to be the king of our hearts, minds, and actions.
COME, YOU WHO ARE BLESSED
As people under the kingship of Christ, we must also be shepherds who tend to the flock. It is upon this that we will be judged. Yet how many times do we pass a person on the street without taking notice of his or her distress? Perhaps they are homeless, hungry, in need of psychological help or emotional support, and we walk by, maybe with a nod or a brief greeting, perhaps with eyes averted, not knowing what to say or to do. We might offer a silent prayer as we move along to our destination. We may wonder why someone has not offered aid or taken the person to the nearest shelter. In our hearts we know that we could be that someone. Each of us has some particular something we must do in word, deed, or prayer, in person, or through the local and world-wide organizations that serve the poor. This is who we are to be as followers of Christ, who is king of the universe.
Today’s Readings: Ez 34:11–12, 15–17; Ps 23:1–3, 5-6; 1 Cor 15:20–26, 28; Mt 25:31–46