A Moment before Christ the King Sunday

This Sunday closes the liturgical year (before the new one starts with Advent) with Christ the King Sunday – a Sunday that focuses (fittingly) on the end of things and seeing Jesus as he really is.  

Sunday's Old Testament reading (Ezekiel) uses the image of a shepherd seeking out the lost and injured sheep to show us how God works.  It’s a divine search and rescue.  God is looking for us to help us, even if we aren’t aware of just how badly we need that help. 

The Epistle (1 Corinthians) uses the image of Jesus as a conquering king to help us understand who Jesus really is.  When you hear the Epistle read, listen for what is being conquered and what the conqueror does with his kingdom.  Jesus is a king like no other.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that Hell wasn’t made for people and that we aren’t supposed to end up there.   But the Gospel also tells us that we can escape the blessings that have been prepared for us.  It won’t be easy and it won’t be given to you.  

It will be a daily struggle to resist your better nature, to ignore the cry for help, and to tune out the glimpses of God in every created thing.  But if you really want to condemn yourself, there is a way – and Sunday’s Gospel spells it out.  It’s not very pretty, and it couldn’t be farther from what Christ (the King) died to give you.