1. Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17
2. 1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46

                            " True subject of the Kingdom"

It is well known that any baptized Catholic believes in baptism, in the Eucharist and the other doctrines pertaining to our faith,  but in contrary the salvation army does the opposite. It does neither believe in baptism nor Eucharist. Yet you never hear anybody criticizing them, Why? Because what they do speaks so loudly that no one cares what they believe. They provide soup kitchens for the starving. They clothe the naked on our streets. They rehabilitate those addicted to drug and alcohol. They are there wherever disaster strikes. As far as people are concerned these are the things that count. The parable of the last judgment in today's gospel shows that these are the things that count before God as well. For in the Last judgment no mention whatsoever is made of people's church beliefs but only of the practical help they gave or did not give to the needy and the disadvantaged of this world.

Today being the last Sunday in the liturgical, we celebrate and confess Christ as our king. The readings invite us to reflect on the kind of king Christ is and what it means for us to truly say that we belong to His kingdom. The first reading from Ezekiel talks about God as the shepherd of Israel. The kings of Israel were regarded as God's visible representatives and were given the divine title of shepherd. But many of them did not live up this responsibility. The leadership style differed from God's style. God's style was that of giving priority of attention to the needs of the disadvantaged, especially their need for justice and empowerment. This is affirmative action in the best of the word:  I will seek the lost, and I will bring the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice ( Ezekiel34:16).

God raised up prophets, like Ezekiel, to warn the kings. When they failed to listen, God decided to get rid of the ungodly kings and their beneficiaries, and promised that He would shepherd the flock Himself. The defeat of Israel by her enemies, in which the big people, the royalty and the nobility, were banished into exile was seen as God's way of getting rid of the bad leadership.

What about God's promise to rule His people Himself? As Christians we see that this promise is fulfilled in the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ whose kingship we celebrate today. Jesus has begun his reign as king, but he will come on judgment day to bring it to completion. On that day he will sit on His throne and sort out from all nations those men and women, boys and girls who really belong to His kingdom. Notice that both the righteous and the accursed address Jesus as " Lord" It is not what we call him matters but whether or not we have come to the help of the needy and the disadvantaged in our midst.

There are some specific actions mentioned these are: (i) feeding the hungry, (ii) giving drink to the thirsty, (iii) clothing the naked, ( iv) sheltering the homeless, (v) visiting those in prison, and (vi) taking care of the sick. Add (vii) burying the dead, and you have the traditional Seven Corporal Works of Mercy. The final judgment on whether  we are true Christians or not, whether we belong to the kingdom of Christ or not, will be based on whether or not we have done the corporal  works of mercy. This is our number one moral obligation both as individual men and women and as a family of believers.

The good news we celebrate today is that we have a king who, unlike the kings of this world, pays attention to us and helps us not only when we are needy and disadvantaged, but especially when we are needy and disadvantaged. To call Christ our king is simply to recognize that all power and authority and all glory belong to him. To call Christ our king is to give up our claim to power and authority and glory. We take credit for nothing, except for our sins. To call Christ king is a call of praise and trust and pledge of obedience to Him. It has absolutely nothing to do with politics and crowns. It has absolutely everything to do with faith, humility and worship.The challenge for us today is to forget our own needs for love and happiness and to reach out in love to make someone happy who may in greater need. For whatever we do to the least needy children of God (brothers and sisters) we do to Jesus Himself.

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Chapisha Maoni