Homily Feast of Christ the King Lord and Judge

By 10:38 AM


Homily: Feast of Christ the King


Reading 1: The focus of the first reading is God is a Shepherd and a Judge. The prophet Ezekiel realizes that the people of his day, though chosen by God, have been misguided by those who were appointed to shepherd them. Even though they are in exile, God does not abandon them. He will be their Shepherd when they are truly without a shepherd.


How often have we felt abandoned or neglected? At times, we have run away from God. At other times we have not been properly cared for. In any case, God reminds us of his fidelity to his promise. “I am your God and you are my people. I have made a covenant with you and I will be faithful to it.”  He leaves us free to remain with him or to stray. If we stray he will seek us out, but will never force us to return to him.


The symbol of the sleek and strong are those who choose to go their own way without relationship with God. Their choice will lead to self-destruction. Those who know they need God in their lives, even when they have strayed, will turn to him. He will heal them and care for them once more. The last verse connects us to the Gospel.


There is a comfort and a convicting challenge in the first reading. The comfort is that God will shepherd us even if we stray and feel lost. God will seek us out and not neglect or forsake us. The challenge is that the Lord will come to judge us for we are accountable for our actions.


Gospel: Jesus is seen as judge of the living and the dead. The first reading sets the scene of the separation of the two: sheep and goats. The sheep or the elect are those who chose to belong to and place themselves under Christ’s leadership. They surrender their lives into his hands. On the other hand, the goats have chosen to go their own way. They choose to be self-sufficient and independent, choosing what satisfies them for the moment, whether it is in accord with God’s plan for them or not.


The basis of God’s judgment is to what extent we did or did not show love to others.  It will be comforting to know that what we did in love, even to the least person, we did to Christ. The convicting challenge is that we did not show love to those God allowed to cross our path. For even these are God’s children. When self is the center of our focus and not others, then we will experience the emptiness of self without others.

Here is a story that illustrates what Jesus is saying. “A man died and was about to enter heaven. However, before doing so, he asked St. Peter if he could have one look at hell. He was taken there for a brief tour. He saw a magnificent table set with every manner of delightful food, with people all around the table. They had chopsticks but the chopsticks were four feet long. What food they could grasp they could not put into their mouths. Hell was filled with the sounds of anger, frustration and hate. Content with what he saw, he went to heaven. Much to his surprise; he saw a table of the same size filled with the same delicacies piled high. Those sitting around the table also had chopsticks, and the chopsticks were four feet long. However, each one at the table was carefully picking up the choicest morsels he could find and was feeding them to his neighbor, who in turn did the same for his neighbor. Heaven was filled with sharing, loving and laughter.”


Reading 2: There is comfort in Paul’s words. The kingdom of God is the kingdom of light and life not darkness and death. Jesus through his death and resurrection has conquered the second death, which is eternal alienation from God. He has conquered the eternal consequences of human death, which is the eternal destruction of the body. In his resurrection our body will rise and be reunited with our spirit either for eternal glory or eternal condemnation.


This should give us great comfort to know that there is life after death. For those who choose to act in love towards others, especially the marginalized, will receive the award of love: life with God. Those who choose to be in the kingdom of God, choose Jesus as the Lord and King of their lives.


In the first reading, we hear of God as Shepherd and Judge; in the Gospel we hear of Jesus as King and Judge; in the second reading we hear of Jesus as the Resurrection of the Life for those who live and die in him and under his rule as King and Lord.





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