Feast of Christ the King
"Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and visit you?" (Mt. 25:
In a recent small group gathering, today's gospel reading was the driving force for our group discussion. In our small group we reflected on these words by Jesus, "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." However, the most striking moment came when we pondered on the idea that the righteous missed knowing that they were doing the will of the Father.
Don't miss this response from the righteous. The righteous said, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and visit you?" This thought then came to our minds, "How could the righteous not know that they were doing what God asked us to do, to care for the poor and the vulnerable?" Our conversation took us all over the place; we wrestled with this conversation between Jesus and the righteous. We even asked ourselves the question, "When did we see Jesus?"
For me, the thought that keeps coming to my mind is the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God..." The first half of this wisdom statement talks about the "clean of heart." What does it mean to be clean of heart?
For this reason, let's look at monastic spirituality. In Greek, "monos," means "single" or "alone." Here we understand that a clean heart is one that is only for God. One's heart remains clean when attempting to seek God first and his righteousness. Paul said, "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Col. 3:12). When following Paul's words, you will do the righteous works of God. You will see God in the face of the poor and vulnerable. The righteous were seeking to see God, not realizing that they were seeing God, the second half of our Beatitude statement. It's like you giving your life to help someone, not knowing that God is blessing you.
Therefore, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King by living out the seven principles of social justice, which provides the pedagogical and understanding of the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. Acting on these seven principles of social justice will allow you to see Jesus.