Sunday, November 26, 2017

The King Whose Name Is Love

November 26, 2017 –– 34th (Last) Sunday in Ordinary Time / Solemnity of Christ the King (A)
Ezekiel 34:11–12, 15–17 / 1 Corinthians 15:20–26, 28 / Matthew 25:31–46
The King Whose Name Is Love

Imagine a world in which no one was put down, left out, or abused….

There would be no stories in the news with details we need to hide from our children.

We could trust people in authority to do the right thing––and certainly never to do anything atrocious.

Earlier in the chapter of the first reading, God lets the people know that he is quite aware of the inequity and injustice happening on earth: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! (34:2). It’s not only in our day that prominent––and not so prominent––people have abused others. But that is not the way it is supposed to be, and it’s not the total picture.

From each big politician, each pastor, and each individual parent, from those who are relatively good and strong to those terribly weak and bad––above and beyond every person on this earth who has the prerogative of any power over others, we have a Good Shepherd who has promised: I myself will look after and tend my sheep (Ez 34:11).

Today we celebrate in a focused way that this Good Shepherd is Jesus Christ the King. This Shepherd says:
I myself will pasture my sheep;
  I myself will give them rest.
The lost I will seek out,
  the strayed I will bring back,
  the injured I will bind up
  the sick I will heal….
This Shepherd is able to do what he says because the Shepherd is the King.

How many of us need rest? How many people close to us are straying or injured or sick? Our Shepherd-King says, I will pasture my sheep.

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. Johnny didn't want his mother to walk with him so she had an idea. She asked a neighbor to follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn't notice her. The neighbor said that since she was up early with her young daughter anyway, it would be a good way to get a bit of exercise, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Johnny as he walked to school with another neighbor boy. She did this for the whole week. As the boys walked and chatted, Johnny’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them every day. Finally he said to Johnny, "Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?"

Johnny nonchalantly replied, "Yeah, I know who she is."

The friend said, "Well, who is she?"

"That's just Shirley Goodnest," Timmy replied,"and her little girl, Marcy."

Who is that, and why is she always following us? "

"Well," Johnny explained, "every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so much. And the Psalm says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life', so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!"

We have a King, and one of his names is Love. He is our Shepherd, and he promises to follow us all the days of our lives. All we need to do to truly profit from this is to believe it.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Great sermon, Deacon David. God bless!

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