Solemnity of Christ the King
The first reading today speaks about the Good Shepherd. What a powerful promise God makes in this reading, “I will rescue them from every place….” There is no stipulation here. The rescue God speaks about is unconditional - from every place. God’s rescue is not contingent upon something or anything. God does not say “if” or “but.” The Good Shepherd promises to come for you and me, God’s sheep, no matter what. We cannot stray further than the grasp of God.
For this soul, who has at times strayed, these words are reassuring. My experience of the Good Shepherd has proven the words true. I have been rescued from many places. I have been shown the way back to the flock. I have been given rest. My injuries have been bound. My ills have been healed, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I’m sure this is so for many of us. No?
Matthew’s Gospel makes very clear that we will be asked to account for our behavior toward others. The Good Shepherd in the first reading offers much, and Christ the King spoken of in the gospel expects much. But isn’t that the nature of relationship – to give to the other - To do what pleases? Our relationship with Jesus is our most important relationship. He asks us to care for each other as He has and does care for us. I know when I love someone I want to please them. Not because they demand it, but because I love them.
As we reflect on today’s readings, let us recall how the Good Shepherd has cared for us throughout our lives. Let us remember the far-off places the Good Shepherd has traveled to bring us back. Let us take a moment to be grateful for God’s steadfastness in all things. God is faithful, and in this, we can rest. As we recall how the Good Shepherd has cared for us with mercy, kindness, and love, let us recommit ourselves to our relationship with God and its intrinsic call to respond in service to others because that’s what love does.
Peggy Roach, Associate