FROM THE PULPIT
In today’s gospel we are reminded, “whatever you do for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” As we celebrate this feast of Christ the King and also the last day of the church year, it reminds us that as a year comes to an end so does our earthly life. What are we going to do with it? Jesus is very direct and to the point and might sound simple enough but we should ask ourselves do I serve as Jesus served?
This morning I think of my mom who is truly a servant. She is a woman that has and is always dedicated. When I was growing up she juggled a 40 hour job, took care of her family from doing laundry to putting a wonderful home cooked meal on the table each and every day. A few years ago she added my grandfather to her list of responsibilities as he was getting older and couldn’t be left alone. There she was preparing meals, washing him, and just making him feel like a million bucks. Today she continues to serve and I never hear her complain but instead she radiates the love of Christ. What an example she is to me and my family. This is just a few examples that my mom truly lives out her call to serve.
My brothers and sisters we need to realize that at the moment of creation, God’s plan was for us to share in his everlasting life and joy. All that is required of us is to reach out to those among us that need assistance and treat them with respect and dignity as the very presence of the risen Christ himself.
The Solemnity of Christ the King, which every Catholic throughout the entire world is celebrating today, is a new thing. The Church has existed for almost 2000 years, but this Solemnity is less than 100 years old. It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925. He explained his reasons for doing so in an encyclical letter called "Quas primas". First he explained that throughout history liturgical feasts have been instituted in response to particular needs that arise in the life of the world and the Church.
He gives the example of the feasts in honor of the martyrs, of the celebration of Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart. And then he explains which need this new celebration addresses.
He was writing this encyclical in 1925, when the world was still trying to recover from World War I, which had devastated Europe and shattered modernity's hopes for unlimited progress based solely on human reason.
Everywhere the pope looked, he saw human societies abandoning Christian values and trying to build paradise on earth through other means. But if humanity had been able to perfect itself by itself, without God's help, then Jesus Christ would never have come to earth. The fact is, Jesus did come.
He brought his Gospel and his grace to a fallen race, and only by believing in that Gospel and accepting that grace can individuals and societies achieve true and lasting peace and prosperity.
Pope Pius XI instituted today's Solemnity as a way to remind the world that to reject Christ, either in private life or in public life, is to reject our only hope, and to accept him is to accept salvation. He wrote: "...When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony... That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to that end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ."
So my brothers and sisters on this solemnity of Christ the King may we worship Jesus our King and realize with him is the only way that will lead us to the way to the Father, give us absolute truth and give us eternal life but we can’t do that without reaching out to him through others who need our assistance this day.