The king of beggars
1 Cor 15:20-26,28;
Fr. Fernando Torres, CMF
As a conclusion to the liturgical year, today’s feast proclaims that Jesus Christ is the King of the universe. He is above all people and things. As Christians, we recognize him as the center of our lives and we respect him as such. But, where do we meet him? This is a key question for Christians. We know Jesus is present in the Eucharist, and that’s why we respect churches. We believe Jesus is present in churches.
But today’s gospel speaks of a larger presence. Jesus is to be found in the smallest people in society. Today’s gospel leaves no room for doubt about it. Using a comparison with the final judgment day, Jesus tells us where he wishes to be adored and respected. And he is not exactly speaking of churches. Jesus did not make up the parable about judgment day. All believers throughout all times have believed that at the end of time there will be a judgment where our actions will be weighed. What Jesus does, though, is to change the ending of the story. In the parable the king, Jesus himself, doesn’t say to those who are being judged that they are being rewarded or punished for the things they did or didn’t do to others. They will be rewarded or punished for what they have done to the king himself.
Jesus identifies with those who are hungry and thirsty, with strangers and those in need of clothing, with the sick and the imprisoned. Whatever is done to one of these, the least in the eyes of the world, is done to Jesus. It is in them that we must find Jesus and the best place to revere him. Pity those who wait until they see Jesus in person in order to adore him! They don’t realize that they meet Jesus every day in the streets of their own cities, and in their own homes and places of work. The measure of our Christianity is how we revere Jesus in each one of the last in the eyes of society, in our brothers and sisters in need. Every time we welcome and care for one of these, we welcome and care for Jesus himself.
- What is our attitude towards the smallest of this world?
- Jesus does not say he identifies with poor people who are good persons; he simply speaks about poor people. How often do we harshly judge those who are poor?
- Do we perhaps use those judgments as an excuse to do nothing for them, or not to revere the presence of Jesus in them?