November 26th, 2017 -Feast of Christ the King

Nov 29, 2017

34th Sunday Christ the King A 2017

          The “Prince and the Pauper” is the story of two boys who lived 300 years ago in England.  Not only were they good friends, they looked so much alike that they could be taken for identical twins.  One of the boys was Edward, the Prince of Wales, the other was Tom Canty, a poor lad.

          One day, for some fun, they decided to switch places.  They changed clothes, Prince Edward put on the rags of a poor boy and wandered through the slums of London, rubbing elbows with beggars and the underprivileged.

           After a time both boys tired of their game.  In his ragged shirt and trousers, Edward tried to tell the police that he was the prince.  He was instead thrown into jail.   Just as Tom was about to be crowned King, Edward showed up and convinced the officials that he was the true prince. However, because of his experience however he became a kind and just ruler.

           Something like this is the situation between Christ and each one of us.  Christ is the Prince of Peace who we also know to be the King of Kings, the True Son of God.  Yet, He too switched places with us who are poor.  He clothed Himself in our poor sinful human flesh.  Then Christ made each one of us a prince by clothing us in the robes of His merciful grace, even sharing His own divine life with us.

           As God, Jesus knew the sufferings of human beings.  By becoming a Man, He actually suffered what men, women, and children have to endure.  Like Prince Edward in our story, Jesus loved those who were in need of any kind.

           It’s no wonder why Christ, Our King, lays down this test for entering His eternal home:  Did we help the needy or not in life?  Today’s Gospel is one of the most important in the life of Christ – Good News for those who help the needy, Bad News for those who pay little or no attention to the needs of other human beings.

           Let’s test ourselves today.  Have we ever fed a hungry person?  Perhaps we may have never really met a starving child or grown-up.  Yet everybody knows that millions go hungry.

           Did we help this year in the Archdiocesan Catholic Appeal, our St. Vincent DePaul, or our sister parish Maria Reina, or another charity that helps those in need?

           When was the last time we visited someone who was sick?  When did we visit someone in prison?  Now this does not mean only those behind iron bars.  It means people behind the bars of loneliness, perhaps the bars of ignorance or grief.

           What have we done for those who are spiritually starving, spiritually sick, spiritually strangers, or spiritually imprisoned?  If we have done little or nothing, then we shouldn’t one day be surprised to hear the command of today’s gospel in which the Lord Jesus tells those on the left, to depart, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and His angels.

           The gospel goes even further though: what we have done for the needy we have done for Christ Himself.  Notice: “I was hungry…thirsty…sick…a stranger.”  What we did or didn’t do, we did or didn’t do to Christ.  The Lord makes Himself one with those in need.

           Our King is hungry; Our King is thirsty; Our King is a stranger; Our King is naked; Our King is sick; Our King is in prison.

           Yes, we serve and worship Christ Our King on this altar, but we must also serve and worship Him in love through those who are in need in any way around us.

           If we spend our lives doing this, we can be assured that we will hear Him say to us at our judgement, for those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father.  Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

           May Christ the King bless all of us today with His grace so as to inspire us to serve Him and love Him more through all those we meet in any need, at any time!