Today’s Thoughts: The Feast of Christ the King has never been one of my favorite feasts. I think it is because kings have never really been a positive image for me during my life time. I have grown up in the age of democracy, kings and kingdoms seem to be part of the past. I have read about kings and kingdoms. I have studies them in school. Over the course of history, one can find a lot a positive images, stories and experiences of kings and kingdoms however from a personal perspective they are part of days gone by, not the reality of my life experience. Truth be told, kings and kingdoms for me often symbolize a time when ordinary people meant nothing and there was a great divide between the “haves” and the “have nots!”
So, what am I, what are we, to do today, faced with Christ honored, celebrated, as a king? Well, first, we need to look at the reality of Jesus' kingdom; it is a kingdom that is not of this world, meaning it is different kind of kingdom, one we have never seen or experience before. It is a kingdom of truth, and a truth that can set us free. We also know from the life of Jesus that it was not about the “haves” and the “have nots,” it was about community, it was about people. Jesus’ kingdom is a kingdom of caring for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the ill and the imprisoned. In other worlds, it is a kingdom where we recognize the king amongst us.
I have often used the image of Pope Francis as an image of Jesus as King. So first, let ma ask the question, “What most intrigues me about Pope Francis?” Well I think it is the way he has gone about being Pope. He chose not to live by himself, but to live amongst others. He chose not to eat by himself, but to eat with others. He chose not to celebrate Mass by himself, but to celebrate with others. Pope Francis has chosen to be part of the Church not just the head of the Church and I think that makes all the difference.
Jesus chose to be part of us, to be amongst us and that has made all the difference as we celebrate his Kingship today. Jesus' kingdom is beyond, government, power, authority and institution. It is a body, a living body made up of many members working as one for the good of all, for the salvation of all, for the love of all. Jesus as king rules to bring out the best in us so that truth, life, holiness, grace, justice, love and peace will be lived. Jesus rules here and now. So, may we follow the example of Jesus, the true shepherd, and be the Body of Christ, and be the Kingdom of God, a kingdom that truly honors its people by not walking past the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the ill, the imprisoned, or anyone who becomes Christ for us by challenging us to care.
Let us honor Christ our King today by becoming instruments of his justice, peace and presence in the world today. Bringing love where there is hate, bringing pardon, where people are hurting, bringing faith to moments of doubt, bringing hope to hopeless times, bringing compassion when uncaring is the norm and bringing the light of joy to an often joyless world. Let us honor Christ our King, by giving, pardoning and loving so that one day all may be born in to the true Kingdom of eternal life!
Have a blessed and faith filled Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...