Readings for November 22, 2020
Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
We, as Christians, walk a fine line between teaching the Truth of the Gospel and judging others against what we believe. In a divided world spewing a toxic mix of entitlement and what is purported to be tolerance, any mention of wrong-doing is met with a swift “don’t judge me!” And however we choose to help others see Christ, judgement is, indeed, not our lot, not our call as Christians. Judgement is wholly saved for the King upon his return, separating the sheep from the goats.
Our hope, of course, is not to be on the punishing side of judgement. As we have learned over the past few weeks, we need to make sure we have enough oil in our lamps to be ready in anticipation of the King’s return. Also, showing ourselves to be both trusting and trustworthy, we need to be willing to take risks with our talents. And, as taught in this week’s Gospel, we must be merciful to those in most need of mercy.
Importantly within the theme of not judging one another, we do not pick and choose who we believe is most worthy of our mercy. We are to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit the prisoner. And people can hunger or thirst for something other than food or water. The stranger among us may not be someone new to us. The naked may be vulnerable beyond the need for clothing. The sick might not be physically ill. And, of course, the prisoner is not necessarily one who is physically behind bars.
We are, simply, to show love to anyone God puts onto our path through life. Yes, we are called to holiness. Yes, we are to love God with all our hearts, minds, soul, and strength. But how we live is how we will be judged. And when our lives become more of a manifestation of the Law rather than only a legalistic obedience to its precepts, then we will be judged with the mercy we have extended to others. We are to live out a love for others that is a return to God for the love He has shown to us. In so doing, we will be judged favorably when Jesus returns to sort out his Kingdom.
My Lord Jesus, you are the King of kings. May I, through your grace, be judged worthy of entering into your Kingdom. May my life be lived according to your teachings, reflecting your love, that your promises may be fulfilled here on earth as they are in heaven. Amen