Echoes of our Charism
“just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40
For us as Oblates Of Mary Immaculate, whether vowed or Associates, the readings for the Solemnity of Christ the King are a reflection on and an echo of our charism.
God speaks through Ezekiel: “I will seek out my sheep, rescue them, seek the lost, bring back the strayed, bind up the injured, strengthen the weak.” And in the last judgement parable Jesus highlights care for the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick and prisoners. As we listen to both readings, we recognize God’s choice to identify with the most vulnerable in our world, whereas we often tend to envision God as the utmost expression of power, majesty and prestige.
As people called to live the Oblate charism “we commit ourselves principally to evangelizing the poor.” (CC 1) “God’s Word and our charism call us to be in solidarity and to identify ourselves with the lowliest people – the poor with their many faces” (CC 5), those who live at the margins of church and society. We are invited to know Christ more deeply in relationship with his beloved poor. Falling in love with Christ in the poor and with the poor in Christ will draw us into a deeper desire to serve him in and with the poor. Jesus tells this parable just before his own suffering and death on the cross – the ultimate expression of vulnerability, poverty and marginalization. Our Oblate cross is a powerful reminder to us of Christ’s solidarity with the most vulnerable and our call to be in relationship with them and Christ as an essential element of God’s call to be Oblates. The readings remind us that living the call of discipleship is a long-haul endeavor! The Spirit has given us the gift of our charism; we are called to use that gift generously and see it grow in our world.
As Jesus so often says at the end of a parable or teaching “Let anyone with ears (to hear) listen!”
By Richard Beaudette, OMI
Vocation Team – East