I celebrated my first Mass on this great feast of Christ the King. As an ordination gift, my brothers and sisters presented me with a commitment ring. Inscribed inside is the question asked twice in today’s Gospel: “Lord, when did we see you hungry?” It’s a daily reminder that Our King comes to us in the distressing disguise of the poor. 

The irony of this question is that both the righteous and the lost ask it. Neither realize that the daily acts of kindness for the least of our brothers and sisters are the real test of whether our faith in Jesus is sincere or bogus.

We who call ourselves Christians have heard this parable for the last 2,000 years. We can’t claim ignorance. One day we will stand before the throne of grace, and we pray that we will not have left Our King hungry, thirsty, naked or alone.

—Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ, is a retreat master, writer, and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. His weekly video reflections can be seen at heartoheart.org





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