Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christ the King

Solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe Year A
Mt 25, 31-46
I have a fascination for words and for the way different languages express reality. Our English language is generally very precise and specific, but one interesting exception to this rule is the word “Love”. While other languages have a diverse vocabulary to identify the different warm, positive feelings we have for a sunset, a chocolate bar, a favorite dog, a friend, a son, a brother, a spouse, or our God, English has only one. Greek, however, has no less than four different words to describe the various forms of “Love”. One of these is “Philia”, which is the deep affectionate love between brethren or close friends. It is said that the person who feels this kind of love identifies himself with the one he loves. So, if my brother or friend is happy, I am happy, if he is sad, I am sad, if someone hurts him, then I am hurt, if he is honored, I feel honored. My brother or friend is my “other self”.
Jesus says in today’s Gospel that He has this kind of love for us. Whatever is done to the least of His brethren is done to Him. He so identifies Himself with us that our happiness is His own. In another place in Sacred Scripture, St. Paul tells us that we are part of Christ’s Mystical Body, so we should all sympathize with one another as the members of the same body sympathize with one another. I will never forget when I dropped something heavy on my foot and fractured one of my toes. Believe me, the whole rest of my body was in deep sympathy with that little toe! There was no indifference over the fate and welfare of this little member. This is what it means to be part of the Kingdom of God: to be in a close union of love with Jesus and with all our brothers and sisters. We must allow His love to flow between us and among us, not only in good feelings but in acts of mercy and kindness. Jesus told us at the last supper, “Love one another as I have loved you”. He has laid down His life for us. Let us also lay down our lives for each other. Blessed Solemnity to one and all! May the fullness of Christ’s kingdom come soon!

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