Christ the King - November 25, 2018 (Thoman)
Dan 7:13-14 | Rev. 1:5-8 | Jn 18:33b-37
I. Well, we’re cleaning up the last of the leftovers from our Thanksgiving meal…
- Most of our guests have returned home…
- Immediately, on Friday, all the media bursts forth with news about the holiday
- We hear reports about Black Friday sales and opportunities…
- The media releases warnings about the latest scams…
- Others report on dangerous toys to watch out for…
- Weather forecasters advise us which day is best for putting out decorations…
- We’re busy shopping for trees, decorating our homes, thinking ahead to our Christmas menu…
- Checking our calendar for coming office parties, nights out with friends, concerts, special dinners…
- We make plans with family about which day to celebrate Christmas…asking them
for ideas about what they might want for Christmas…
THE FRENZIED HOLIDAY SEASON IS IN FULL SWING!
II. Liturgically speaking, we are also in the midst of transitioning from one season to
another….today is the Solemnity of Christ the King – the last Sunday of the liturgical
year and we begin to look ahead to the new liturgical year next Sunday with the first
Sunday of Advent.
Throughout this past year we’ve journeyed through the whole of salvation
history: we’ve joined ourselves to the ancient expectation of a coming Messiah…to
the birth of that Messiah in the person of Jesus…the story of his birth, the magi, the
escape to Egypt, the slaughter of the innocents, Jesus’ hidden years with his parents,
his preaching, his passion, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension…the coming of the
Holy Spirit upon the apostles…their adventures in proclaiming this new gospel
Message…lessons from the teaching and life of Jesus throughout the year.
It all comes down to today: Jesus’ interrogation before Pilate. Pilate is trying to
figure out…who is this Jesus? From Pilate’s point of view, he wants to ascertain
whether or not Jesus is a political threat. Is Jesus someone who wants to get a
small army together and attempt to overthrow the Romans? Or, is this some
meaningless squabble the Jews are having?
In the interrogation, Jesus admits to being a king – but his idea of being a king,
and his kingdom is not of this world – it’s a different kind of kingdom all together –
it is a reign and a kingdom of the heart.
Pilate didn’t quite get it.
So, where are we today? What have we learned from our year-long journey with
III. Coming to the end of the liturgical year can be likened to coming to the end of the
calendar year – it’s a time for taking stock…looking back over the past year and
asking myself how I’ve grown spiritually over the past year…what are new insights
about my faith that I’ve picked up? Or, where did I miss opportunities? What could
I have done better?
This Solemnity of Christ the King challenges us to ask ourselves, “Who is Jesus?”
Is Jesus the ruler of my heart? Does my love for Jesus – and his teachings – who he
is as the Son of God – who he can continue to be for me everyday of my life – rule my
heart? Does Jesus, above all, fill my life?
IV. Next Sunday – the new liturgical year – the first Sunday of Advent is an invitation to
make some New Year’s resolutions! Some spiritual New Year’s resolutions…
- Maybe to participate in the sacraments more frequently, to participate in Mass
- Or to find new ways to deepen my prayer
- Maybe go on a retreat…or participate in spiritual conference, such as the women’s
conference or men’s conference…
- Go on a pilgrimage…
- Read – and pray with – more devotional materials
- Work on some sin, some temptation more whole-heartedly….
- Be more spontaneous and generous
- Seek ways to live the spiritual and corporal works of mercy more conscientiously
Suggestions could go on and on….each of us needs to know how we can best make
Jesus more central, more dominant in our life.
V. Participating in this Mass today…coming now to the Eucharist…testifies to the belief
that we wish to make Jesus the king, the ruler of our hearts. We celebrate in word
and sacrament his sacrificial love for us – our desire to do the same for others.
--------Fr. Dwayne Thoman