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11/26/17 Solemnity of Christ the King - Fr. Damian

On this final Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. We acknowledge Jesus as king of the universe, of the earth and of our lives.

Today's Gospel can seem overwhelming, even scary. At the end of history Jesus divides people into two groups: sheep and goats. The sheep enter eternal life and the goats go off to eternal punishment. The sheep unknowingly cared for Jesus who was hungry, outcast, ill and imprisoned. To use St. Teresa of Calcutta's phrase, they served Jesus in "his most distressing disguise." The goats, on the other hand, neglected to care for Jesus in disguise.

How should we understand this parable of sheep and goats? It's important to recall the context. It comes right after the parables of the talents and the ten virgins in the wedding party.

If you remember the basic message is that God establishes a partnership with us.
He gives gifts and talents - and expects a return.

God wants us ready because he comes unexpectedly. He comes in surprising ways - perhaps none more surprising than what Jesus tells us today, in the disguise of the hungry, the imprisoned, the ill, the outcast.

Pray about the gifts God has given you and how he wants you to invest them.

God has given us gifts of time, talents and material resources.

The second reading has a phrase that should help us invest our gifts. St Paul talks about "first fruits." We've received the first fruits of Jesus' sacrifice. He wants us to dedicate our own first fruits back to God.

We'll hear more about this in Advent - the season we focus on God's coming. Remember this: God has established a partnership with you and me. He has given us gifts and expects a return - first fruits. And he comes in surprising ways - as Mother Teresa says, sometimes in a most distressing disguise. "Whatever you did for these least brothers of mine, you did for me."

This Sunday Jesus shows himself as a humble king - and he asks us to accept his rule in our families and in every aspect of our lives. We cannot withhold something and still come to him. It is all or nothing.

So, Is Jesus Christ your King?



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