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Week of November 22, 2020

Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King
Matthew 25:31-46 

Today’s solemnity marks the final week of the 2020 liturgical season. Matthew’s gospel depicting the Last Judgment challenges me, as a disciple of Jesus, to spread God’s reign in our broken world and our fragmented church. 

In the Gospel Jesus portrays himself as a shepherd separating the flock of sheep from the goats who were grazing in the same pasture. My image of a shepherd is that of being tender and loving, caring and compassionate. Jesus praises the sheep for being “blessed by God.” And thus begins the litany of being a good neighbor: attending to the hungry and thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned. These are simple acts of loving-kindness that Jesus performed day after day in his public ministry. In reflecting on these months of Covid-19, I have noticed that conversations at table seem longer and more engaging, puzzles and card games have brought forth merriment and laughter. I have taken time for phone calls to friends, family, those living alone. Texts or notes have been written to lift another’s spirit…all simple acts of loving kindness. What impact, I know not, nor did Jesus in his daily performance of good deeds as he ministered to the many.

What does following in Christ’s footsteps look like today? 
How can I serve others during this pandemic?
How can I spread God’s reign in our broken world, in our fragmented church?

Sister Marcia Ziska has been a member of the Benedictine Sisters at Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, KS, for 47 years. A retired certified hospital chaplain, she has served in pastoral care, formation work and was associate director of the Sophia Center, the community’s retreat center. Sister Marcia coordinated the Rome Renewal Program for English-speaking Benedictine women world-wide from 2003-2010. She served on the National Religious Vocation Conference Board the American Benedictine Formation Conference Leadership Team. She currently is vocation director, does spiritual direction, and is a staff member for the spiritual direction training program, Souljourners.