This week we observe the Feast of Christ the King, and we are called to celebrate the many ways Jesus reigns over our hearts and lives. The paradox of the feast can be seen in the readings chosen for the day: in order to pay homage to our King, we must learn to recognize Him in the poor and oppressed, the naked and the needy. In practical terms, this means daily embracing our relationship with God so that we can expand our hearts, accept those who are different, love more – all this at that profound level that involves more than just dropping money in the collection plate. If we actively seek union with Other, we can be the sheep He shepherds, vital members of His Kingdom here on earth, recognizing Christ in those around us, and allowing God to work his life-giving action through us.
David Haas’ “Share Your Bread With the Hungry” (from the CD Glory Day, disk 2) speaks to how our relationship with Other is intricately linked to our relationship with God:
Clothe the naked, take them to your care.
Do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
And your wounds will be bound and healed.
If you share your bread with the hungry,
If you welcome the poor to your home,
Then your light will shine, your light will shine,
And the sun will rise once more.
And your dignity shall go forth before you,
And the glory of God shall keep you safe.
Then you shall call and your God will answer,
You will cry out and God will be there.
If you remove all oppression from your midst,
And the shame of those who do you harm,
If you share your bread your bread with the hungry,
Your God will dwell with you.