Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Nov. 26, 2023

Reflection for Nov. 26, 2023

What we do for the least, we do for Him

End-of- year  feast calls us to generous love and mercy

by Sister  Jane Riha

We close another liturgical year with the Feast of Christ the King. This feast was instituted by Pope Pius XI at the end of the First World War. Christ the King is not a worldly king or political leader. The readings for this weekend clearly define qualities of a humble, compassionate, and challenging king.

He comes as a Shepherd who brings his sheep to places of rest and refreshment. The prophet Ezekiel describes a shepherd who searches out the lost and those who are wounded. In the Gospel of Matthew 25: 31-46, the expectations of this king are clearly defined.

The description of the challenges placed before us are poignant for our times. The origin of Sunday's feast was at the end of a war yet the devastation of war continues. As we view the images of Israel and Gaza, the land where Jesus once walked, our hearts are moved by the suffering and loss of life. The struggle for power continues. The Gospel of Matthew calls us to be persons of generous love and mercy. If we choose to follow Jesus as his disciples, this is our true call and mission in life.

  • Provide food and drink for the hungry and thirsty: This hunger may be for food and water but there are persons who hunger for understanding, for a visit, for a kind word.
  • Welcome the stranger: This may be a new immigrant or the person in your neighborhood who needs a friend.
  • Clothe those without resources: Clothing drives are common at this time of year but consider clothing someone with respect and with attention.
  • Visit the ill and care for them: Loneliness is considered a great illness in our time. Talk with someone who is lonely.
  • Visit the imprisoned: If you don’t know someone in jail or in prison, there may be persons in your life imprisoned by addiction or depression who would welcome your visit.

Our Christ the King is a God of love.  Let us take on this challenge.


11/24/2023 10:10 am

Thank you for the beautiful suggestions of how to be a true disciple. You took the simple, straight forward, ideas and gave them “new life” for me! God Bless you Sister Jane.

11/24/2023 11:18 am

Your reflection is very moving, Sister Jane. Thank you for sharing your insights into the outrageous destruction and sufferings of our Times through your own deeply tender heart. It is through your own heart-of-compassion that you know the Good Shepherd, calling you - and us - to live in the Spirit of generous love and mercy.

As you so accurately point out, the need for persons to be esteemed, valued, affirmed, treated with dignity, respect, kindness, care, understanding, and validated with acceptance and belonging is great.

It seems to me that what JESUS is describing in Matthew's gospel of how to show our love for him in the loving of others, is echoed through the person, John, years later:

"Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. " [1 John 4:7]

"The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love." [1 John 4:8]

11/24/2023 1:34 pm

Sister Jane, at this time and this season what better time to act on your message.God bless.

Sally Ann A Brickner
11/24/2023 3:50 pm

Thank you for sharing our call to discipleship through both physical and spiritual actions. I appreciate your words of wisdom.

John Hansen
11/25/2023 3:26 pm

Such beautiful reminders for people and so simple- it’s just being mindful to look out for others. Something thatJesus repeatedly mentions for us to do.

Thank you for sharing.


11/27/2023 11:15 am

We have a shepherd as our king. Thank you for including those suffering from war in the land where Jesus once walked. And, thank you for the good and practical suggestions for carrying out this Gospel message.

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