The Christ of Many Faces

Fr.John whiteThe Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
the King of the Universe:  Year A

Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Matthew 25:31-46

The Christ of Many Faces

It is so hard to believe that we have completed another Church year once again.  During this past year, we have journeyed through the gospel of Matthew, the teacher.  We end the year with the great Solemnity of Christ the King and the poignant passage of the Last Judgment in Matthew’s gospel.  Jesus extends his reign today to include those who were normally excluded from society.  Jesus tells us that whatsoever we do to our brothers and sisters, we actually do to Him.  He is clearly calling us to recognize him in the midst of hunger, thirst, the stranger, imprisoned, naked, sick, and the imprisoned.  Through worldly eyes this seems to be an unlikely place to find a king, but through God’s eyes this is where the king of glory is to be found and attended to.

ChristBlessFG2009_4cJesus is directly associated himself with a fragile and broken world.  He reminds his listeners, as He does with us today, that the Son of Man will judge us according to how we have responded to the vulnerable ones around us.  To fail to reach out to the needy is to fail Christ.  To treat the broken with discontent and their plight is to treat Christ with discontent and apathy.  The wisdom of today’s parable challenged the conventional wisdom of the religious establishment of the day.  The poor, sick and imprisoned were regarded as those with sin and outside the faith.  Jesus gives such people the dignity of God, making them kingdom people.

If we are truly honest, we would probably say that not a lot has changed.  The poor tend to be forgotten by the majority of the world.  Those who are imprisoned are treated with contempt because of their crimes.  Those who go hungry because of unemployment or bad domestic choices can often be looked down upon.  How many of us, for example, have heard negative comments about the migrant worker who comes to find work, but falls prey to illness and requires medical treatment?  Furthermore, how many of us have heard or even made judgments about the one who cannot hold down a job and so depends on the State to feed them?  When did we last welcome a stranger into our community?  In essence, this is where the message of Christ challenges us to the very core of our existence.  Christ is calling us to be faithful stewards of creation and the people of the world.  Wherever need is perceived, God is to be found, calling us to recognize that the needy are truly our brothers and sisters.  As Catholic Christians, we are challenged to be the light and leaven for all those who struggle and are vulnerable.  To be faithful witnesses to the message of Jesus, we have to become the voice for the voiceless and strength for the weak.

image: Christ “Giving the Blessing” by Fernando Gallego; ©20007 by Dover Publications, Inc.source: Liturgical Publications Inc.


Heavenly Father, help us to recognize you in all people and all things.  Give us courage to embrace the poor and vulnerable as our brothers and sisters.  May we welcome the stranger as your Son welcomed the outcast, the broken, and the sinner.  Let Christ the King be the shining light for each one of our lives so that we can truly glorify your name.  Amen.


What do you think the title “Jesus Christ the King” means?
Do you allow Jesus to rule over your life?
In what ways have you allowed Jesus to take possession of your life?
How is Jesus to be found in the midst of the world today?
What is important in your life?
Do you allow other things/people to take over your relationship with God?
How do you imagine the kingdom of God?
Do you give witness to the kingdom in the way you live my life?
What is today’s gospel specifically calling you to?

Voices of Faith

The Proverbial Christ

I saw Christ today,
In the clothes of a beggar he stood
With outstretched hands he called to me
A heart waiting to be understood.

I saw Christ today,
A clown with beaded hair
A laughing stock to the world
But a smile with the wisdom of Christ unfurled.

I saw Christ today
A child in watchful wonder,
Forgiving and ever giving
Without a care in the world, very much unconcerned.

I saw Christ today,
In a winkled face so gray,
Unassuming, yet confused
In a world so far away.

I saw Christ today,
In people gathered in prayer,
With priest’s outstretched hands,
Gifts of bread and wine, blessed and broken, given sublime.

Yes, I saw Christ today,
In every single way
In every breathing moment
Gifts and treasures freely given, without delay.

—“Peaceful Moments” – Fr. John J. Ludden



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