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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Solemnity of Christ The King: The criteria of judgement - ITREALMS

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34th Sunday in Ordinary Time (November 22/20) 
Your Daily BlessingMay the Lord count you as one of those to reign with him in his kingdom. Amen.

Narration: Read: Ezek 34:11-12,15-17; 1 Cor 15:20-26,28; Matt 25:31-46

Today we celebrate Christ as the King of the universe. He is the only begotten Son of the Father, and through all things were made. He came in weakness at first to redeem all destined for salvation. It was the hour of Mercy. At the end of time, he will come back in power and glory, and it will be time for Justice. After subjecting all his enemies under his feet, he will reign as King forever. 

Today, we celebrate that day in anticipation. The readings (read: Ezek 34:11-12,15-17; 1 Cor 15:20-26,28; Matt 25:31-46) indicate what he will do when he comes. He will take care of his flock; but first, he will judge between sheep and goats. The criteria of judgment is what good we did or did not do while alive. In my earlier reflection this year, I used this passage of scripture to show that the way we treat human beings is a mirror image of how we treat God. I will revisit the passage from a different angle. First the negative part:

Mother Teresa said, “the worst disease in the world today is the feeling of being unwanted, and the greatest evil is lack of love. What the poor need even more than food, clothes, and shelter, is to be wanted.” Therefore, when Jesus condemned the ‘goats’ in the Gospel today, “I was hungry, but you did not give me food…” he meant it both literally and figuratively. There is physical, psychological, and spiritual hunger all around us! All need to be fed! Each of us is responsible for alleviating at least the first two categories by our acts of love, our charity, words of encouragement and appreciation. “I was thirsty you didn’t give me drink.” I was thirsty for ‘companionship,’ for ‘acceptance’, but you gave me ice-block: you were cold and unfriendly. “I was a stranger…” You never trusted me as ‘good enough’ to have anything to do with me, no matter how much I tried. I am not in your class. My children will never play with yours. I remain a stranger’, no matter how close we live.
“I was naked…” Clothes cover nakedness, but the worst nakedness is that of psychological shame. I have done wrong in the past, you refuse to ‘cover my shame’ through forgiveness, acceptance, reintegration. You keep treating me as a ‘leper’. 

So I lose my self-worth having to meet the cold wind of disapproval all the time. “I was sick, you did not visit me..” This sickness includes psychological ones. I was ‘wounded by failure and disappointment’ but you mock or laugh at me; I was sunk in depression needing the medicine of hope, but all I got was blame, blame, blame. “I was a prisoner, you didn’t visit me...” This prison is one of guilt and the loneliness it brings. Instead of visiting me with forgiveness, you prefer that I languish there as my punishment (unforgiveness). “I was homeless…” This is not only about those without a home, but includes “homeless-homeowners”. I was in need of the warmth of affection, for sympathy or understanding, but you locked me out of the ‘home of your heart.’ I will look at the positive side tomorrow.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, King of my heart, please help me see that I have a very short time to stay here on earth. Give me the grace to do as much good as I can, when I can as the only way to fulfill my destiny.

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