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Readings: Ezekiel 34: 11–12, 15–17; Psalm 23; I Corinthians 15: 20–26, 28; Matthew 25: 31–46

St. Vincent with the poor around the table of Christ. A reign like no other! Kings, Queens, Dictators, even some Presidents, demand more recognition from their people than the King of King demands.

Matthew’s Gospel tells us that even recognition of the King’s presence is not necessary. Those invited to the kingdom are puzzled. They say, “When did we see You?”. What is necessary for this kingdom is seeing, not ignoring, not rejecting, not closing one’s eyes to those in need. In this reign, those in need are entitled to have their needs met. It is not a kingdom of distinguishing between the deserving and the undeserving, of a separation between “us” and “other”. This reign cannot include self- righteousness, classism, nationalism or bigotry of any kind. It is built on recognition of need and response.

The migrants searching for a permanent place of welcome, the trafficked person seeking safety, the ill needing healthcare, the hungry and homeless of every nation, the very earth herself, place their needs before us. The reign of God is built act by act as we respond to those needs. One concrete act or united action for systemic change at a time, the reign of God which dwells within us becomes manifest.

As we demonstrate our ability to suffer with the other, without even knowing it, we honor and recognize the God of all. As we care for those on the margins we participate in God’s reign, here and now. And the King will say “Come you who are blessed. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” A reign like no other!

Sr. Mary Ann DalySr. Mary Ann, a member of the Congregation’s leadership team, formerly served as Sisters of Charity Federation Executive Director, novice director for the Congregation, as well as in health care mission integration, pastoral ministry, religious education, and elementary education.