Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

​“Thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep.” One of the things that can challenge us the most is knowing Jesus and having a deep, personal and intimate relationship with him. It is difficult for us to have a relationship with someone whom we cannot see or communicate with, someone we cannot hear. But the real question is, do we want to? Do we want to know Jesus in an intimate way and understand the truth of what he has done for us personally? Do we want to hear him share with us how he freed us from the yoke of slavery to sin and death? Do we want to experience how much he loves us? At times this relationship might feel too personal as Jesus already knows all that we have said and done; all that we have failed to say and do. That scares us. It frightens us that someone we cannot see or hear knows us better than we do. The relationship is already personal and intimate, so why not go deeper?  The gift of faith tells us that Christ is always very close to us but especially when we pray, read scripture, celebrate a sacrament or gather in his name. We must learn to rely on God’s grace and trust in his love and mercy so we can place our hope in Christ, hear his voice, share our thoughts and follow his lead. It begins with a simple desire to know him who has traveled from heaven to get to know us. Who has come into our humanity to gather us and bring us home. One of the images frequently used in Scripture to help us understand the relationship between God and his children is that of the Good Shepherd. Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep, and mine know me… I myself will pasture my sheep… The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal…” When we are lost and confused, Jesus comes to look for us.  When we stray away from God’s house, Jesus brings us back home. When we are injured, Jesus helps us. When we are ill, he comforts us.  Let us then pray for a deep, personal and intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us so that we may hear his voice more freely, see him more clearly, encounter him more deeply, and follow him more nearly, day by day.