A Caring King Seeks A Caring Kingdom | Word from the Shepherd No. 107

Feast of Christ the King A
Ezek. 34:11-17; 1Cor. 15:20-28; Mt. 25:31-46

A survey was conducted to determine how people viewed Jesus Christ. The young ones, a big majority, saw no religious significance. It was another profanity, like another f-word, used when swearing at each other. The Latin Liberation Theologians saw him as a revolutionary. The Rock generation viewed him as a ‘superstar’. The hippies considered him a ‘flower child’. The film makers of the ‘Last Temptations’ portrayed him as a erotic Jesus. Mel Gibson featured him as the suffering Christ. The gospels presented a tussle, a tussle between a ‘political king’ and a ‘political zealot’.
Different sets of people clamoured to own or possess Him.

But Jesus announced Himself as the Messiah, The Shepherd and ‘as the One who came to serve and not to be served’ nor to lord it over others. In Him, we see a caring king inviting all to build a caring kingdom.

This feast is not about his state, status, position nor authority. It is about the Reign of God, about God of history, about his role as a shepherd (pastoring , protecting & providing). It is about the God who reigns in our midst. Ezekiel, the Psalmist, and Paul saw:

a) God as the One who rescued the scattered, looked for the lost, bound the wounded, strengthened the weak and who revived the drooping spirit.
b) God as the shepherd, who took over the shepherding of Israel when abusive, corrupted , idolatrous and self-prospering kings and leaders of Israel did not deliver.
c) God who did not tolerate idolatry, syncretism, disregarding of the covenant with God and community.
d) God, in Jesus Christ, came as the Good Shepherd for the lost, the little, the least, the lame and the leper. When the institutional religion segregated the outcast, the rejects, the poor, the have-nots and the different, God sent His Son to gather the forgotten and discriminated.

God who has raised more shepherds to send out in the field. As we were shepherded, we are expected to shepherd. As we were blessed, we are sent to bless. As we were saved, we are sent to save. It is no more the work of God alone. The Last Judgement account of the Gospel is directed to all of us who claim to be His disciples. Besides the Twelve, all disciples were asked on the shores of the Tiberius, or rather, they were reminded “if you love Me, feed my sheep, feed my lambs”. We are measured by our compassion not perfection.

Today’s Gospel reinforces again that central to the covenant or being disciples of Christ is charity. Love lived. Love shared. Some see Jesus in the other and they do good; or others may do good and then see Jesus. It does not better which is right – JUST DO IT. Be aware of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the prisoners. Desire to hear the words of Jesus: “You did it to me”.

Pope Francis to Caritas Internationalis: “Charity is not a sedative for our restless conscience. It is also not a business. It is not talking a lot about charity but live in luxury, organising meetings on charity and wasting so much money. Charity is not an idea or a pious feeling but an experiential encounter with Christ, where we meet Him in the poor”.

A Caring King is seeking Caring Shepherds for an Indifferent World.