Gospel Reflections

Feast of Christ the King

Matthew 25:31-46

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Rebeca Spires

Published: November 23, 2014

Today is the feast of the King! Joy! He, King of the whole universe, has all power over all things: persons, systems, nations, peoples, and nature. He can do all things and nothing can stop him. And he is on our side; he has chosen us. He prefers the poor, the weak, the excluded and marginalized. It is good to be part of this group!

And this is more than marvelous because today we are facing and living within a world of violence, exclusion, corruption, falsity, etc. etc. etc. As someone in our neighborhood said recently: “This struggle is like David and Godzilla more than like David and Goliath.” And that is how we feel. We struggle with an enemy so strong and so powerful, and we are so small and fragile. In this uneven struggle here he comes, all powerful: “He will destroy every realm and all the power and strength of evil.” (1 Corinthians 15)

At the same time, he is all tenderness. “I will take care of mine, give them food and rest, rescue the lost, nurse the broken leg, strengthen the sick…” (Ezekial 34). Also, in Isaiah he says: “Do not fear, my people, I have saved you. I call you by name, you are mine. Neither fire will burn you nor will water drown you, for I am with you… You are precious to me and it is you that I want.” (Is43: 1-4) And again: “How often I wanted to gather your children like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” (Lk13:34) And as if words were not sufficient, look around at what he says with a thousand and one images: a mother nursing her baby, a father playing with his child, a flower bud opening, a bird singing, the moon so beautiful night after night… He is pure tenderness, and infinite power.

We conclude this liturgical year with this certainty and guarantee. In our struggles, good wins; the Kingdom of love, kindness, truth and service, care and solidarity triumph. The foundation of the Kingdom is precisely with those living in poverty; the rich, proud and powerful are defeated and left out. This Kingdom is guaranteed for sure and we are part of it. At the same time it is up to us to fulfill and make real this Kingdom, in the here and now. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us how (Mt25:34-36). He declares his stance with the poor to the point of identifying with them (Mt25:40.45). It is in them that we find him; it is in them that we can serve him; it is in living with them and taking on their pain that we are embracing him. In this way, his kingdom comes to us. There is no compromising. Whoever is not with him is one who excludes self from this kingdom of love. There are no excuses.

In Advent, next week, we come into the time of hope. Our all powerful King comes to us as a helpless infant without even a house in which we can welcome his birth. And the strength and force of our all powerful King is precisely his smallness, his weakness, his fragility. Long live our King who overcomes all!

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