From last weekend’s readings we learned that as disciples of Jesus we are called to be light in the world and that we must be cautious about being drawn into the corrupt ways of living that are often part of the way the world rewards certain practices in the name of success and comfort. At the same time, we cannot put on rose-colored glasses and deny the way the world is, nor distance ourselves from the evil that surrounds us at times. If we are called to be light, then we must use that light to break through the darkness.
As we celebrate the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus King of the Universe we see how Jesus provides us with a model — examples and a path to follow so that we may use the light he has given us worthily and well.
What makes Jesus our model and our king is that he overcame the power of death — in all of its forms. He overcame not only physical death, but the death that comes with indifference; the death that comes with isolation; the death that comes with poverty; the death that comes with injustice. The readings from Ezekiel remind us how Jesus overcame death by gathering people back to God’s ways, how he offered relief from the stresses of life, how he became our light in the darkness, and how he offers healing to the injured. When we think about the words of Ezekiel we see how Jesus overcame death by challenging those individuals ‘the sleek and the strong‘ who thought that they had all the answers by being a living example of God’s humility, truth, and mercy. Jesus provides a model of how to use ones strength, knowledge, and gifts for the fulfillment of God’s plan for saving all people.
The readings from Corinthians remind us that Jesus is our model and our King as it outlines how the plan of salvation will unfold beginning with the life and death of Jesus. Through His selfless act of love, the Way of the Cross all authority is being and will be returned to God. By the Way of the Cross the Glory of God is being revealed and restored to its fullness.
The words from the Gospel of Matthew demonstrate Jesus is our model and our King as they point out that true success and lasting joy are not a product of worldly achievements, but a product of continuing to live out Jesus’ example of love of God and neighbor. Our real success will be based on how well we reflect his image in our world today as we feed the hungry, quench another’s person’s thirst in all its forms — by reaching out to those who feel they do not fit in and are lonely, by providing clothing and shelter for those who lack it, and by visiting those who are imprisoned or isolated due to illness.
Although it does not know it the world longs for and is calling out for Jesus. We see this longing as people march in the streets crying out for justice, we see it reflected in our world as people call for end to illness and senseless deaths, we see it as people seek leaders who will put the needs of the people ahead of there own plans… it is happening today and has been that way since biblical times when Samuel reported how Israel rejected God as their King so they could be like other nations. That light you carry — that light we carry — is the remedy the world longs for because it is the light of Christ, our true and compassionate King.