Bottom line: The care for our least brothers begins with reverence for Jesus. You did it to me.
Sometimes people ask, What is God up to? Is he just somewhere in the distance observing the world? Well, today God tells us: "The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal..."
History books talk about kings and rulers, battles and treaties, but that's only the surface. The real story is God seeking the lost, the strayed and the injured. He does that above all by sending his Son. Jesus identifies himself with the lowly. In today's Gospel he says, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me."
From this judgment scene we get the corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned, shelter the homeless. Along with the corporal works we have the spiritual works. People experience spiritual imprisonment, illness and alienation. People use all kinds of things to satisfy their spiritual hunger. None of them work. Only Jesus.
St. Teresa of Calcutta used to teach the "five-finger Gospel." I saw a video of her holding a man's hand, palm up. Beginning with the thumb, she say, "You. Did. It. To. Me." Mother Teresa emphasized that you don't need to go to Calcutta to practice the five-finger Gospel. We have people near us who are hungry, imprisoned and ill. The person who comes across angry and sullen often has the greatest need. You did it to me.
So what is the end game? St. Paul lays it out: "For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all." This does not mean God will absorb us. We will retain our individuality, but realize that perfect unity we all long for. Our national slogan says, "E pluribus unum." From many one. The unity we achieve here below is fragile, to say the least. In the reign of Christ we will realize perfect unity.
I conclude with two notes: 1) By Stewardship of time, talent and financial resources we serve the "least brothers" of Jesus. You did it to me. 2) With the First Sunday of Advent we restore the practice of kneeling at the Lamb of God. The care for our least brothers begins with reverence for Jesus. You did it to me. Amen.
Spanish version (Word document)
From Archives (Christ the King Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru