Proper 29 – Year A
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 100 (or Psalm 95:1-7a); Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46
“It is tragic that so many people are relying on emergency food assistance in the United States, where we produce enough food to feed every hungry person in the world.” – Larry Sly
Today is the feast of Christ the King. Going along with this royalty image, we often pledge our allegiance to Christ our ruler by reciting the Nicene or Apostles Creed, a list of things we believe. These two Creeds are well and good, although a bit philosophical. Today’s Gospel parable is a statement of what Jesus himself believed, his creed. Should we not believe the same things he believed? What would be the impact if on Sunday morning, at the invitation “Let us profess our faith,” we were to all stand and say words from today’s Gospel: “We believe in feeding the hungry. We believe in giving drink to the thirsty. We believe in welcoming the stranger. We believe in clothing the naked. We believe in visiting the imprisoned and the sick. We believe.” Imagine the impression this would make on a visitor hearing that we stand for what Jesus stood for. However, we can stand up in church, or sit on a mountain top in the lotus position, and by rote recite all the creeds we can think of. But the real definitive creedal statement, as Jesus makes clear in this Gospel, is to actually feed the hungry, etc. We profess our faith by our actions.
Matthew 25:33 says that the king will put the goats on “the left.” The original Greek says “of good name.” It was common to use this term as a euphemism for “on the left.” The prestigious position would be on the right. Yet, on the left, or of good name, is still a position of endearment. Perhaps Jesus was not so hard on the goats after all.
Deem it right to feed.
Christ nourished when famished fed.
Come stand at the right.