Nov. 22—The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Readings: Ezekiel 34: 11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23, R. The Lord is my shepherd; there’s nothing I shall need.; 1 Corinthians 15: 20-26, 28; Gospel—Matthew 25: 31-46
Annually we finish our liturgical season with the Feast of Christ the King. I feel it’s such a correct ending, a synthesis of the previous yr, much more significant now below our scenario of the pandemic and, most just lately, the triple calamities—from Storm “Quinta” (worldwide identify: Molave) to “Rolly” (Goni) to “Ulysses” (Vamco).
This yr’s Gospel, the Parable of the Remaining Judgment, provides us nice factors to deepen this “year-end” synthesis.
One, the parable is a well timed reminder that there will probably be a second of judgment. It isn’t a lot a harsh court docket judgment or court docket trial as it’s a easy accounting earlier than Christ the King.
Two, the Kingship of Christ is an efficient ending from which we’ll take off for the start of the brand new liturgical yr, with subsequent Sunday because the First Sunday of Creation—“start with the tip in thoughts.”
Three, the previous eight months, from the time of the lockdown to the latest calamities, give us a concrete context inside which we’re to account for what we now have finished to the “least of our brethren.”
The parable and the feast give us a key factor within the means of life, that there’s an ending to every interval or cycle. As in all endings, there are closures, syntheses and/or accounting to render.
In the course of the time I did highschool work, it was very clear that younger individuals wanted cycles of beginnings and endings. For this reason having grading durations, giving them suggestions by grades on the finish of the interval and permitting them to start anew was good for them.
The identical is true for all of us. Right this moment we come to an ending. We synthesize. We account. Quickly we start anew.
We account earlier than Christ the King, the King who informed us from the very begin of his ministry:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, as a result of he has anointed me to deliver glad tidings to the poor. He has despatched me to proclaim liberty to captives and restoration of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a yr acceptable to the Lord… Right this moment this scripture passage is fulfilled in your listening to.” (Luke 4:18-19, 21)
Accountable to the Lord
Sure, we will probably be held accountable, and that is the usual by which we will probably be measured, clearly laid out to us from the beginning. Thus it’s the selections we now have made that we are going to render as our accounting earlier than Christ the King.
How did we witness to “a yr acceptable to the Lord?” Did we proclaim “liberty to captives… restoration of sight to the blind” and freedom to the oppressed?
The Gospel right this moment spells it out additional: meals for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, garments for the bare, take care of the sick, presence to these in jail.
That is the Kingdom of Christ the King. That is the accounting we have to render earlier than him, and the “judgment” is ours. It’s how we made our selections.
On this yr, 2020, the context of those selections is clearer than in any earlier yr. The struggling of nearly all of humanity who’re marginalized has undeniably uncovered, as clear as day, the injustice of inequalities throughout areas.
Pope Francis, firstly of the worldwide pandemic, articulated the identical. The expertise led us again to the necessities in life and has given us the possibility to reboot our relationship with God and with others.
It likewise confirmed us, the Pope additional emphasised, that we will heal our frequent residence, the planet earth and our human household.
That is the context of our accounting earlier than Christ the King.
Let me depart you a prayer, a tune that frames our reflections for this Sunday, a tune that begins with the tip in thoughts, and ends with an accounting.
“Within the morning of my life I shall look to the dawn, at that second in my life when the world is new, and the blessing I shall ask solely God can grant me: to be courageous and robust and true, and to fill the world with love my complete life by.
“Within the night of my life I shall look to the sundown, at that second in my life when the world is due, and the query I shall ask solely I can reply: Was I courageous and robust and true, did I fill the world with love my complete life by?”