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Sunday, November 20, 2005

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Christ the King

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

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king of the poor

"Christ must reign until God has put all enemies under His feet." —1 Corinthians 15:25

Kings traditionally are concerned about pomp and circumstance, military might, taxes, palaces, and monuments. King Jesus is altogether different. When King Jesus "comes in His glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, He will sit upon His royal throne, and all the nations will be assembled before Him" (Mt 25:31-32). He will judge on behalf of refugees, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned (Mt 25:36). He has no Pentagon, no military budget, and no national debt. He commands: "Owe no debt to anyone except the debt that binds us to love one another" (Rm 13:8).

The poor are His priority. He commands us to serve the poor. Material poverty in the world indicates our spiritual poverty in the Church. If we bowed before Jesus as King, the poor would have the good news preached to them and be set free (Lk 4:18). If we had faith in King Jesus, we would "love in deed and in truth and not merely talk about it" (1 Jn 3:18).

King Jesus not only helped the poor but became poor. "You are well acquainted with the favor shown you by our Lord Jesus Christ: how for your sake He made Himself poor though He was rich, so that you might become rich by His poverty" (2 Cor 8:9). He chose to be born in a stable at Bethlehem, live in Nazareth, work at manual labor, and even die like a slave on a cross. King Jesus is a different kind of king. He's the King of the poor, and the King of kings.

Prayer:  King Jesus, take over my life totally.

Promise:  "Thus says the Lord God: I Myself will look after and tend My sheep." —Ez 34:11

Praise:  Praise Jesus, King of kings, Who rules over all nations and all of creation!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005

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