Sunday, November 26 is the Feast of Christ the King. It is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. (We being the new year with Advent on November 30th. It was placed on the calendar in 1931 by Pope Pius the 11th. He wanted to counter the tendency of many people to see their political parties as identical or superior to God’s Kingdom. This tendency is still with us, especially among political progressives and Tea Party members. We need to remember John 18:36-38
“…My kingship is not of this world..”
This Sunday’s scripture readings bring us a different picture of the Kingdom and how to get there. In Ezekiel we hear a consoling and encouraging promise:
Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep,…
This is an astounding promise. It will not be some earthly shepherd, but the Lord himself who will look after us.
Then in Mt. 25:31-46 Jesus, the good shepherd, gives us a picture of how we get to the Kingdom while on this earth:
(you will) “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
To the question “When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,…” Jesus gives the answer:
“whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers you did for me.”
While the Kingdom is “not of this world,” it is coming into being. We can help bring it into being and become part of the kingdom by caring for or neighbors. We don’t have to look far, or even go into the streets of Charlottesville, to find people who are desperate and suffering. We can find people in all our daily affairs, if we are just open and listen. When we see people who are suffering, lonely or maybe just afraid of their future, we can extend mercy and bring the kingdom a little closer.