November 22, 2020
Dear Followers of Christ the King,
Today marks the conclusion of our liturgical year with the Solemnity of Christ the King. This feast draws us into the reality that all things will be one in Christ Jesus in the end. All things will be in Christ Jesus. All things, including violence and racism, including doubt and hopelessness, including greed and substance abuse, including pandemic and job loss, including every fear, will all be healed and loved in Christ the King.
The Solemnity of Christ the King means a great deal to me. I cling to the notion that all things will be healed, loved and forgiven in the end. As a priest and pastoral minister, I hold on to this for dear life. The gospel today helps us understand the real meaning of the Solemnity.
Matthew 25:31-46 is one of the most important salvation texts in the gospels. Our salvation rests in giving a thirsty person a drink and a naked man some clothing. Our hope for heaven means that we visited the prison while on earth and cared for people who are ill. Being at the right hand of the Father begins with us on earth claiming our responsibility for feeding people food and sitting with strangers with an attentive ear and a heart full of hope.
If you read only one gospel text this year, read this one at its conclusion. Our salvation begins with us doing simple things for others. Salvation is not passing an exam on the Catechism or based on attendance records from Mass. Even confession is not on this list to get into heaven.
What is on the list to enter salvation is that we care for people. What a surprise. Salvation is not only a personal experience but also a communal reality. We find our way to Jesus’ face because we showed up to the real human faces of people in need. We showed up to help others without judgment, condemnation or ridicule. We showed up to relieve people of their burdens because we are already one in Christ Jesus.
So, as we end our liturgical year and begin a new year next week on the First Sunday of Advent, let’s remind ourselves that salvation rests on our conscience to befriend the least among us, not the powerful and the glitzy, but the worn out, the tired and the smelly. Salvation comes in ways in which we least expect. Tell everyone you know that all will be well in Christ Jesus, King of the Universe.
Some thoughts for the week:
Take some time and reflect on what it means for Christ to come in glory…
Reflect on what it means to see Jesus Christ in the fragile and ill…
Talk with your family about the fact that salvation comes from befriending the marginalized…
Pray for the broken, lost and uncertain as we celebrate Christ the King…
Find your way to the face of Jesus, the King of the Universe in your prayer this week…
“The lost I will see out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.” Ezekiel 34
God give you peace,