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Serving Jesus means serving others

Based on Ez 34:11-12, 15-17;1 Cor 15:20-26, 28;Mt 25:31-46

He didn’t come to earth wearing a gold crown and royal robes. He didn’t live in a palace with many servants. He didn’t ride a white stallion and command an army of brave knights.

Jesus came as a baby born in a stable. When he grew up, he preached and spent most of his time with the poor, the sick, the homeless, the outcasts and the forgotten – the people who most needed love and care. He taught 12 apostles to spread his message of love.

Sunday is the feast of Christ the King. The Gospel tells us of Jesus’ second coming as king at the end of time, when he will separate the good people from the bad people, depending on whether they were loving or unloving.

Jesus uses the example of a shepherd to explain what he means. He speaks of separating the sheep from the goats. Sheep and goats were often pastured in the same field and separated when brought back.

Jesus compared sheep and goats because when goats grazed in the field, they pulled the grass out by the roots and killed the plant. Sheep did not pull out the grass. It could regrow later.

Also, when goats drank from the stream, they went into the water and muddied it. Sheep drank the water from the shore and did not go into the water. Goats, therefore, were looked upon as being selfish animals and sheep as generous animals.

The Gospel points out that not all of us are like the sheep following the Good Shepherd. Some of us are like the unruly goats that go their own way – ignoring Jesus’ teachings and selfishly thinking only of ourselves.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, tells us he comes in many disguises. We are to recognize him in the homeless, the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the lonely, the sick and the imprisoned. We must use the talents, gifts and skills God has given us to lovingly and generously serve others.

Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you do for one of the least brothers of mine, you do for me.”

If we live for Jesus, we will share unending joy, life and happiness with him as king in heaven. To serve Jesus, King of the Universe, we must serve others.