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Today we wrap up Liturgical Year A with the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King and we conclude our journey through Matthew’s gospel.

We have been exploring Matthew 25 over these past 3 weeks. Matthew 25 contains 3 parables, although some scholars question if today’s gospel is actually a parable.

We began with the story of the 10 Bridesmaids- 5 were ready for the coming of the Bridegroom and 5 were not. God wants us TO BE prepared.

Last weekend Jesus teaches us with the parable of the three worthy slaves.  Each of the 3 was given a different number of talents and the two that used them wisely were called Faithful Servants by their master.

And in today’s concluding verses of Matthew 25 Jesus tells us the story of the Goats and the Sheep.

As we read what is arguably one of the best known passages of scripture we learn what really matters to Christ the King. At the end of time, when heaven and earth are joined and everything is remade, we are told that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead.

On his right, Christ the King will select those that walked God’s talk– on his left the angels place those that lived “walking the world’s talk” focused on their own wants.

When you put all of Matthew 25 together you will see that Christ the King is calling on us To Be Faithful Servants Walking God’s Talk. The purpose statement for our parish community at St. Patrick’s is based on this chapter of scripture.

What does it mean to Walk God’s Talk?

In today’s gospel we find out in precise terms what Christ the King expects of us if we are to be called his faithful servants. Jesus tells us that we will “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

We ask a question: “When did we see you like this Lord?”

Jesus replies with the key instruction to being known as one of his followers:

“I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Some may consider this teaching shocking. At the end of time it would seem there will be no accounting for how many times we missed mass, no reconciliation of our transgressions against the 10 commandments.

When they find out how they will be judged both the sheep and the goats react in astonishment and they wonder when they ever saw the King when he was poor/sick/lonely/in prison.

In one line Jesus sums up his teachings, outlined and demonstrated in the previous 20 chapters of Matthew’s gospel, when he says- “Whatever you have done for the least of my brothers and sisters you have done for me.”

Today is an opportunity for each of us, as individuals and as families to Walk God’s talk.

Helping one of the least- a family that is financially hurting or an individual on parole at Christmas time is one such chance to reach out and touch Christ the King himself.

A quick story to help us put a face to the brothers and sisters Jesus is talking about.

I met Nancy (not her real name) several years ago through our Dismas Fellowship dinners.

I don’t know much about her childhood family background but as a young adult she struck out on her own to make it in the world. For a variety of simple and complex reasons, Nancy made some poor choices.

She made a living off of her attractive looks as a dancer in a club. She met a man she thought was the answer to her dreams only to be sucked into a world of drugs and violence. They bring two kids into the world in the midst of the chaos that is their lives of addiction.

Then one fateful day, her birthday, she relates that she was hurting and while high on drugs she decided to escape for a while by taking a drive. While on this trip to nowhere special she crashed into a car and the mother of the family in the other vehicle was killed.

As a result of this careless act she is sent to prison. In prison Nancy has to deal with the guilt she carries from the accident. Along the way she meets some people from a local church. Upon her release she joins a Christian fellowship, seeks forgiveness from her victim’s family and tries desperately to reconnect with her two children.

Nancy’s kids are in the custody of her mother-in-law who dislikes (this is a polite way to put it) Nancy and refuses to see her as a changed person. Legal battles continue to this day.

Nancy is an example of one of the women that the St. Patrick’s Christmas basket program helps every year. She has limited funds available as she has been unable to find full time employment and her one wish at Christmas is to have a dinner and exchange some small gifts with her children.

What most of us view as normal- Christmas dinner with family, Nancy sees as extraordinary.

When did we see you Lord when you were poor, lonely, a stranger or in prison?

Jesus will come at the end of times to judge the living and the dead. We believe that he comes to us in the Eucharist.

Christ the King is also with us today in the large hall in the form of families and individuals who need our help this Christmas. Each of you can make a difference in the life of a person you will likely never meet but who you know- This person is Christ the King and he comes in the form of the least of our brothers and sisters.

Please take a moment and come to the large hall today as we continue to be a faith filled community of disciples of the Christ doing our best – To be faithful servants walking God’s Talk.

One Response to “Homily: Solemnity of Christ the King- “Lord When did we see you?””

  1. […] is a comment I received about my November 20th Homily: Lord when did we see you!. The e-mail below is responding to my story about Nancy, a young woman who did time for a car crash […]