‘But Lord, when did we see you in need?’
This Sunday brings the Church’s liturgical year to a wonderful conclusion. Christ Jesus, King of the Universe, has conquered death and reigns in eternal glory as our Judge. Those now called to share in his Kingdom are the ones who have tried to reach out in love and care to others – for whatever we do for any one in need, we do as for Christ himself.
In the First Reading, the people of Israel have been failed by their own self-serving leaders. But the Lord himself now promises to come as the Shepherd-leader who truly cares for his flock, seeking out the lost, the injured and the weak. He will also sit in judgement when needed.
The familiar Psalm is full of strength and consolation. Our Shepherd-Lord walks with us continually, supporting us no matter where life takes us.
The Second Reading tells us that the resurrection of Christ is the starting point for all to share in eternal life. At the end of time, all things will be subjected to Christ, and he will surrender the kingdom to the Father. This power of the risen Christ is the power to give life to every one of us.
At the Last Judgement, Christ the King will divide his flock like a shepherd (Gospel), separating us in accordance with how we have treated others, especially those in need. All who have tried to act with the very same care that God shows us, will take their place in his kingdom.
This week, I might ask the Lord to show me his own face more clearly in each person that I see, and to help me remember that whatever I do for another, I do it for my Lord too.