Today’s Gospel tells us that most of the time, we get in trouble for doing nothing. I was hungry, and you gave me no food. I was thirsty, and you gave me no water. I was away from home, and you gave me no welcome; naked and you gave me no clothing. I was ill and in prison, and you did not come and comfort me.

In other words, in all these cases, nothing was done. Of course, we sin when we do wrong: Stealing, lying, cheating. But so often, we overlook the possibility of sinning by not doing anything. The Gospel calls our attention to the fact that we will all face judgment. This is wholly contingent on whether one has responded humanely to the needs of the marginalized, the homeless, those society looks down upon.

You do not define your neighbor by race or religion. Neighbor is a four-letter word: Need. We have our modern-day outcasts, often ostracized from human society. Separated from their families, even at times from their churches. There are substance abusers, unable to receive treatment, runaways who sleep on the streets every night. Add them to the elderly, for whom a nursing home is hardly a home; who watch and wait for a relative or a friend, anyone to spend an hour with them. There are many people in the world who need us. What are we doing to help?

St. Theresa of Avila, a great mystic and doctor of the Church, wrote after 20 years of being a nun: “Christ has no body on earth but yours. No feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He is to look out into the world. Yours are the hands He must use to bless.”

St. Theresa understood that if the sick, the hungry, the homeless, the thirsty are to be cared for, then it is to be done by us, His followers. We are the ones who must sustain His mission. My friends, it is not for me to tell any of you how you should fit into today’s Gospel. I do, however, urge you to take time and listen to what God might be saying to you; what He might be asking of you. Perhaps, He is saying to some of us, “Live simply, so that others may live simply.”

Especially, those who experience far more of Christ’s crucifixion than His resurrection. In the preface of Christ the King, it tells us that His Kingdom on earth is to be a Kingdom of truth and life. A Kingdom of holiness, grace, justice, love and peace. Is this the Kingdom we experience every day? If not, then why not?

Maybe we need to recall from time to time the words we begin Mass with: “Forgive us the things we have done, and those we have failed to do.” We stand before the Lord and He asks us what we do to bring about His Kingdom on earth.

Make sure your answer is not “Nothing.”

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2 thoughts on “Fr. Bob’s Homily – Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Christ the King Solemnity

  1. Father Bob, I miss being around you and the Friars. All of you at Graymoor are and always be in my heart. I reflect often on my times of being on the Holy Mountain atone with myself and God. I pray for peace each day and for those Friars who have helped me along my journey 💚

  2. Every week I look forward to Father Bob’s homily. It is always uplifting and enlightening to further understand the readings. Thank you

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