Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6
First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 21:31-46
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, and our readings beautifully express the momentum of God's love. When we are willing and open to it, His love transfers through us to others and back to God.
There are many powerful images of God. Today's readings speak clearly of God as a shepherd, which is such an active image of our God. In the first reading from Ezekiel, God speaks a litany of vows to the people as we hear, "I will look after and tend…I will rescue…I will give them rest…I will seek out…I will bring back…I will bind up…I will heal." In the midst of our world filled with chaos and confusion, that is just what we need to hear from our God.
In the Gospel narrative from Saint Matthew, we hear this reality of God's love for us and is taken a step further by Jesus. He calls us to share that love with those around us, especially those most in need of love. Jesus tells His disciples that when they give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the ill, and visit the prisoner, they do these things for Him.
An image that should remind us of Christ's teaching today is that of the tabernacle. When we enter the Catholic Church's sacred space, we reverence Christ's real presence in the tabernacle. As we receive the Body of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we envision ourselves as a living tabernacle for Christ's presence. As we go about our day, we work to see every person we encounter as a living, breathing tabernacle standing before us.
As a global church community, we have come to the end of another liturgical year.
Today's Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we are invited to take stock of how we have been loved and shown love in the past year and to prepare for how we will enter into the holy season of Advent.