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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Christ, King of the Universe

"I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep." Ez 34:11

The Prophet Ezekiel teaches us that God is our shepherd, the one who promises to be our protector especially at night when we are most vulnerable.  In becoming our shepherd God assumes the role of the lowly peasant, someone in the ancient world who had no voice, whose only task was to protect the sheep. Illiterate but compassionate, shepherds would gather all the sheep together at night and literally lie down at the opening of the sheep pen to keep predators from entering. God promises to be our shepherd, our guide, our protector.

This aspect of God's nature is made even clearer in today's gospel when Jesus, as the King of all creation, assures us that when we assume the role of shepherd and feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter to the stranger, clothing to the naked, and show compassion to the sick and imprisoned, we do it for him.  Becoming totally other centered is the task of shepherds and Kings, and we can do this on a daily basis when we look out for those most in need and those often ignored or dismissed by others as pariahs.

Today, thank God for the privilege of visiting the sick and imprisoned, of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and giving drink to the thirsty.

How do you understand the Christian call to be shepherds and servants to those in need?

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