November, 24th 2019


    This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. It is the grand conclusion of the Liturgical Year of grace 2018-19. Each year, this liturgical solemnity highlights the total summation of our convictions about our Blessed Lord. He is the King of our hearts, the reason we live, and the goal of our lives. Today’s occasion announces him with a mighty and regal title: “King of the Universe.” Why so? Because he has graced us with life, as the God of our journey he is God-with-us. He shepherds the sheep of his flock; he reveals the merciful face of the Father; he has handed over his own life that we might live. He forms a people as his own mystical body, the Church, and he will ultimately be our judge at the end of time. It is through him that there will be new heavens and a new earth. It is Christ, himself, who gives ultimate meaning to the lives we live. There is nothing outside of the scope of his purview!


    Our embrace of Jesus Christ and his teachings, therefore, enable us to find ourselves, to actualize ourselves, and to make forward progress on our journey to eternity, and toward the beatific vision of the glory of God forever. Indeed, in our faith response to this occasion our future is clearly in the balance. Today, we are again invited by the Lord to ground ourselves in these central convictions of our faith, to allow him his proper space, holding total sway over our comings and goings; yes, even over the totality of our lives. For God’s people, the Solemnity of Christ the King underscores the principal motivation of the Christian life. We are led to respond with gratitude and charity for all that the Lord has done for us. With Saint Dimas, the “Good Thief,” we can’t help but to say, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your Kingdom!”


    Sadly, however, we often associate ourselves with the thief who reviled our dear Lord, as we scream: “are you not the Christ, then save yourself and us!” Yes, with the multitude of social distractions that fill our culture and our daily lives, a faith-filled frame of reference can get lost, maybe even watered down in us by self-absorption and spiritual sloth. Frequently we allow so many other things to take primacy of place in our lives. We allow power, pleasure, popularity, possessions, and prestige to become the guiding principles of our lives, rather than the kingship of Christ. We allow the philosophies and mores of the day to captivate and consume our aspirations. We give great impact-value and influence to the complete strangers whom we allow into our homes (through TV, the world-wide web, and the entertainment and commercial arts industries) on a daily, if not hourly or minute by minute basis. In the light of eternity, are we sure we want to do that? Given that the eyes and the ears are often regarded as the windows to the soul, are we as discerning as we should be, so as to maintain ourselves safe in the Lord’s care? In the final analysis, we are his! The sooner we realize this, the more our lives will take on the character that makes them blossom into what they were meant to be.


    Time and again the Scriptures remind us of where our spiritual compass should be directed. With certainty, we must daily acknowledge Christ’s kingship over our lives. This is daily done through our love of him in word and deed and in the way we relate with others. Jesus tells us that this is the way we will be known as his, when we love one another as he has loved us. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are concrete demonstrations of this Gospel mandate of love. How often we are exhorted to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, ransom the captive, bury the dead, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinner, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly, comfort the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead. It’s love in action. Christ’s kingdom made present is us!

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Catholic Church and School

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