Christ the King
Mt 25: 31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Following the one true Shepherd
Today we celebrate Christ, the Lord, King of the Universe. How would someone act who truly revered such a king? 392 years ago this week, Jesuit Fr. Roch Gonzalez and his companions gave their lives in Paraguay so that more could know Christ. Just 31 years ago, six Jesuits and two women were targeted and killed in El Salvador. They wanted to educate the poor about their rights. Fighting for rights is still costing lives even today. Have I ever put myself at such risk for Christ, the Lord?
Today’s Gospel describes many ways to honor him. He takes it personally when we feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, welcome the stranger, etc.
So how did the sheep and goats really get separated? By the way they responded to the voice of the King. They separated themselves; some knew him, others did not. Those who revered him flocked together. In the end, there will be one flock, one Shepherd.
—Fr. Stephen Yavorsky, SJ, is the parochial vicar at St. Francis Xavier Parish and a staff member at the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Kansas City, MO. He spent six years in Rwanda, and founded the Ignatian Spirituality Program in Denver.
Divine Lord, universal King, accept from me the offering St. Ignatius would have me make: that I imitate you “in bearing all wrongs and all abuse and all poverty, both actual and spiritual,” if only you would wish to grant me that gift for your greater service and praise. Amen.
—Fr. Stephen Yavorsky, SJ