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Homily for Christ the King November 20-21, 2010

posted Nov 21, 2010, 12:13 PM by fathermark@stmaryshuntingburg.org

Solemnity of Christ the King

St. Mary's, Huntingburg

November 20-21, 2010

 

 

            Today, we celebrate the Solemnity—the solemn feast—of Christ the King ... Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

We celebrate  Christ seated on his heavenly throne ... surrounded by countless angels and saints and the heavenly hosts ... King of Kings and Lord of Lords ...

Christ triumphant ... Christ in glory ... Christ eternal ...

__________

 

            .... which makes today's Gospel reading stand out, all the more, in stark contrast.

The Gospel chosen by the Church for today doesn't seem to match the feast that we celebrate.

Because in the Gospel, we don't see Christ made glorious in the Transfiguration ... we don't see Christ majestically calming the storm ...  we don't see Christ rising in glory on Easter morning ...

Today, in the Gospel for the Solemnity of Christ the King, we see Jesus hanging on the Cross ...

Above his head, the sign that says "King of the Jews" ... a sign meant mock him in his sufferings ...

Of course, we know it to be true ... he is a king ...

True ... but it's hard to see how ...  hanging on the Cross ...

 

            An odd king ... this Jesus Christ ... a very odd king ...

A king whose crown on earth ... was a crown of thorns ...

A king whose earthly throne .... was the Cross on which he died ...

A king whose people abandoned him and betrayed him and put him to death ...

 

            A very odd king ... this Jesus Christ ...

A king whose chief concern is others ...  always others ...  rather than himself ...

A king who chooses to love ... to serve ... to forgive ...

A king whose power in this world was not the power of dominance or force or mighty armies... but the power of love ...

A king who surrenders and trusts and obeys ...

An odd king indeed ...

__________

 

            And, yet, that odd king is our king.

He is the king of all who surrender to the power of his love ... for sinners.

He is the king of all who choose to be embraced by the power of his love.

He is the King of all who accept his love as the Way ... the Truth ... and the Life.

You and I are citizens of the Kingdom of this very odd king ... if we choose to be.

 

            And if that's so ... then his way must be our way ...

Our king's way of acting must be our way of acting ...

What he values, we must value ...

What our king does, we must do ...

 

 

            True citizens of the Kingdom of Jesus must be more concerned for the needs of others ... then for their own mere wants ...

Citizens of his Kingdom must stand ready to love ... and to serve ... and to forgive ... really, daily, in action ... as our True King has done ...

We must be ready to surrender ... to trust ... to obey ... even in the face of the temptations, the obstacles, the challenges that we face ...

Such is the king ... and so too the loyal subjects ...

__________

 

            But there's a problem .... there's a problem ...

And the problem is this:  in our world, you and I are used to seeing mere figurehead kings ...

... the kind of kings we see today on TV ... well ... people bow to them ... call them "Your Majesty" or some such thing ... are interested when one of their royal children gets engaged ...

But nothing more ...

Modern day kings ... especially for us Americans ... are nothing more than a curiosity ... maybe an object of occasional interest ... something that certainly exists ... in some far away world.

 

            And so it is ... all too often ...as we face our true king ...

Yes, we bend our knees to his presence ... but, too often, we refuse to completely embrace his way of living as our own ...

We mouth his praises ... but then we refuse to follow him ... in loving ... in serving... in forgiving ...the people in our daily lives.

We bow to his Cross ... but we refuse to embrace it ... to surrender ... to trust ... to obey ... in the face of the difficulties, suffering, losses that we cannot overcome.

 

            The Solemnity of Christ the King ... Jesus Christ, King of the Universe ... King of Kings and Lord of all ...

Right ...

But the real question for us is:

Is he our king ... is he your king? Is he mine?

Really? actually?

Well, if he is ... then once we've celebrated his feast here ... we must live like faithful citizens of his kingdom when we leave ... loving as he loved ... living as he lived ... being as he was ...

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