THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME NOVEMBER 16, 2014

Jesus_The_Good_Shepherd_Byzantine_IconMy sisters and brothers in Christ,
The King is a shepherd! It sounds like a children’s story. We have images of the Lord today that are so gentle and others that are fierce. These images reflect how God has been experienced and also, most likely, a bit
of the truth of God. God loves us fiercely and is as gentle as He can be with us.

The Prophet Ezekiel in the First Reading, gives us a glimpse of God as the tender shepherd, watching out over His sheep. This image, however, also has the shepherd destroying the sleek and the strong.
That is a bit of a frightening vision, but reflects nevertheless that God is interested in the poor, the strayed, the injured and the sick. The words of Scripture are not always comforting for the sleek and the strong!
The First Letter to the Corinthians, which is the second reading today, tells us in very simple words that everything, everyone, will become subjected to Christ. Death will be conquered and everything that has been created will become subject to Christ.

Although this is a very straightforward and sober image, we can imagine how different our world would be if everything and everyone were completely in accord with the will of the Lord. What a difference!
The Gospel from Matthew brings us to the image of the judgment. Using this image, Matthew makes clear that it is a judgment based on our love and care for others. This is where we are to focus our attention in this life: love and care of others, especially for those who have most needs.
These three readings tell us what kingship and leadership and ruling over others is about: love and care. Christ is our king and we are invited to live the same way that He has lived. We are to be kings in the sense of earthly rulers, but to be servants in the form that God has shown us.
Father Jesus