Today the Church celebrates the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday will be the beginning of a new Liturgical Year and it starts with Advent. This last Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. Christ is not only a King, he is also a shepherd. He takes care of us and looks for us when we are lost. He has always been the King of everyone, and he will remain the King of all. He is a different King to worldly kings and governments. He is a leader who is ready to serve and he always wants to be near us. He is a King who loves his subjects.
Jesus calls those people who helped and loved others, sheep, and those who ignored his teaching and were indifferent to the needs of others, goats. According to the Gospel, both groups are surprised, the ones who lived according to the Word of God are just as surprised as those who lived in an egoistic way. It could very well be that the ‘goats’ thought that if they harmed no one, they would be pleasing God.
Today’s episode brings to mind another of Jesus’s teachings, where he said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 7, 21). Therefore, although it may be true that a person may not harm anyone, yet, if that person ignores the needs of others, he/she will not be pleasing God. Our love of God is shown through our good actions. Words alone are not enough.
It does not mean, that Jesus is expecting great, impossible things from us, he wants us to show love and mercy towards others.
He tells us that he notes even the smallest, good thing we do, which to us may seem insignificant. Mother Teresa used to say that not all of us are expected to do great things, but all of us are expected to do small things with great love. On reading this passage, one notes that Jesus does not say that the good things were done in his name, but rather that these good things were done to him. Jesus identifies himself with the poor and suffering. Every time we turn away from the needs of our brothers and sisters, we would be turning away from Jesus. This is not a reading about what is to happen in the future, but about the way we are living today. Jesus wants us to stop and reflect. Are we living as brothers and sisters? Do we love others? Are we merciful? Now is the time to change, before it will be too late.