When the Son of Man comes in his glory…then He will say, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father, and inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world….I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’”
These words of Jesus, and similar words in this parable or story, are rich in meaning, and deeply appreciated by many of us. “I was hungry, and you fed me.” Christ identifies himself with all of humankind, with every one of us, in our sufferings, and in our kindnesses towards others. And he warns us that he does not find himself in those of us who turn our back on a fellow human being in need. How clear the words, how life-changing the meaning. “LORD, when did we see you hungry?” “Whatsoever you did to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did to Me.”
This passage, only found in St. Matthew’s Gospel, presents a glorious image of Christ as ruler of humanity. But unlike our human rulers, he is not part of an elite, removed from our daily lives, and sending out his commands for us to obey. On the contrary, He rules from within us, from being one with us, because in this vision of humanity, every human being is a member of the Body of Christ. If this is what we mean by “the kingship of Christ,” know this: it is utterly unlike any political ruler you or I have seen or read about. This is the rightful Ruler of humankind, because He is us, He is not only our “head,” but is present in and with every member, from the greatest to the least. Here is the true human Ruler, who let’s our sufferings be his sufferings, and our needs be his needs. Compared to Christ the true Ruler, every human authority and power is shown to be inadequate—not evil, not to be destroyed, but all are wanting, and sometimes to be pitied in their being “all too human.” Not so with Christ Jesus: He alone is the true Ruler, because He is Everyman written large, in each and every one of us from the moment of conception into eternity.
The title “Christ the King” is misleading, because it falls far too short of the reality of Christ. Jesus Christ the rightful Ruler, because He is one with each and with all of us. He makes Himself one with us. He has assumed our nature, and is taking us into God. In other words, Christ is divinizing us from within, and transforming us into the Kingdom of God. “Who are my brothers and sisters?”
“Whatsoever you did to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did to Me.” Those words must echo and resound in our hearts, until they form us anew. Do you want to know what God’s will is for you, for the rest of your life? “Whatsoever you did to the least…you did for Me.”
To God be glory and honor, now and forever, with thanksgiving, for He has made us One with Him. Amen.