Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 23, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The feast of Christ the King can seem like easy triumphalism, a nice way to end the Church year. But the readings set us straight in a hurry.
As soon as we realize how this King is described, we discover that it's more about judgment than it is about triumph. Comfortable saints, beware! This feast is all about justice. Center stage is a shepherd-King who comes to chastise those who feed on the poor and helpless. "Move over," Jesus says, "I will care for my little ones and heal their hurts. As for the ones whom I will admit to my kingdom, here is the qualifying exam -- did you feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit those in prison? Did you see the face of God in the poor and the powerless? Did you love one another? And did you forgive one another? If so, come, share your Master's joy!"
This feast is anything but a Hollywood Awards Night. Anyone expecting to find the glitter of worldly fame or the glamour that surrounds the crowned heads of this world is in for a jarring surprise. Our king comes dressed as a shepherd, with eyes that pierce through a godless crowd. With a simple gesture He condemns worldly pride and corruption, the cruel abusers of the children of God. His judgment will be swift, both for the wicked and for those who silently stand by and do nothing!
So what must we do? We must determine to change some things in our lives -- to be more alert in seeing and judging as Jesus sees and judges; secondly, we must resolve to place ourselves in His presence on a daily basis, through prayer and thoughtful reading of Scripture. If possible, we should consider attending more daily Masses. Saintly living is not about perfection as much as it is about striving little by little to mold ourselves to the mind of Christ, and to act as children of the King in every circumstance.
Today, we are called to commiserate with the broken heart of our Christ whose vision for the Kingdom is one of peace, universal love, and total justice. We beg of Him to avert His anger and to defer His judgment. May the mercy of our King extend itself yet again in our journey so that we may amend our lives. May He have patience yet again until we learn to love and care about all men and women, all people of every culture, until we can qualify for the final exam on judgment day.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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