Skip to comments.Feast of Christ the King
Posted on 11/22/2008 10:06:12 PM PST by Salvation
That idea is by no means dead today. The influence of a leader is still a powerful factor in modern life. For example, take education. A school takes its spirit from the principal. Does he or she love and respect children? The staff will reflect that spirit in the classrooms.
Take business: Is the owner or manager an honest man or a crook? His employees will be quick to follow his ways.
Take government: Are the leaders people of integrity, dedicated to the good of their country, or are they unscrupulous and on the make? Their kind of government will filter down through the bureaucracy.
The same is true of Christ the leader of the worldwide Christian community. His spirit must be the spirit of the people of his kingdom.
The phrase "The kingdom of God" must have been often on the lips of Jesus. St. Luke mentions it 24 times in his Gospel; St. Matthew 39 times.
Jesus never defined the Kingdom but he described it in parables. In Chapter 13 of his Gospel, St. Matthew gathered 7 parables each beginning with "the Kingdom of God is like. . ." " . . . like a pearl of great price," " . . . like yeast hidden in the dough."
In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray: "Thy Kingdom come . . ." immediately followed by "Thy will be done." We know the semitic style of parallelism one sentence explaining or expanding another. And so, the definition of the Kingdom is "a community of people who do God's will on earth as perfectly as it is done in heaven."
From what Jesus said about His Father's kingdom, some interesting facts emerge:
"The Kingdom of God is already present in mystery. When the Lord appears, it will be brought to full flower. Then Christ will hand over to the Father a kingdom eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace." [Ch. In Mod. World, #39]
That is the Kingdom of God in its final perfect form. But what do you see when you look around today? Do you not see another king and another kingdom at work?
The kingdom of God is opposed by the kingdom of Satan. The values of Christ's kingdom are aggressively attacked by the value of Satan's kingdom.
Let me try to illustrate this in concrete terms. Take the example of a girl I will call Maria. Maria is an adolescent between 14 and 16. She is changing from a docile child to an independent adult. She is ceasing to take herself and her parents, and her world for granted, and is looking around with an enquiring mind.
And she sees two kinds of life around her; two sets of values offered her; two leaders Christ and Satan competing for her loyalty. And what are those leaders offering Maria?
CHRIST offers a kingdom of justice and peace and love. He makes high demands on Maria: faith in God, self-denial and obedience to Himself, unselfish dedication to neighbor. But he promises great rewards: "A hundred fold in this present time and in the world to come, life everlasting." [Mt. 19;29]
SATAN demands little of Maria, panders to her worst instincts, and says nothing about the future. Rather, he says to Maria as he said to Jesus: "I will give you all the kingdoms of the world with their glory and power if, falling down, you will adore me." [Lk. 4;5f]
Christ offers a kingdom of life. Maria hears God speaking in the words of Moses: "I place before you life and prosperity, death and doom. Choose life then." [Deut. 30:19] Satan's kingdom invites to death murders, abortions, teenage suicides, bombings.
There is a kingdom of life and a kingdom of death, and Maria must choose into which she will enroll.
Christ offers a kingdom of truth. Satan solicits Maria by a kingdom of lies and half-truths. In governments she senses a credibility gap; in business she sees truth distorted by advertising the credit card claiming to bring with it the "good life."
She soon learns the expression "Let the buyer beware" so old that the Romans had a word for it, Caveat Emptor, and probably the Persians and the Neanderthals.
Will Maria enroll herself in the kingdom of Christ and truth, or the kingdom of Satan whom Jesus called "a liar and the father or lies"?
Christ says: "Take up your cross daily and follow me." Satan says, "If it feels good, do it."
My dear friends let me conclude:
We seldom face great challenges to our loyalty to Christ the King. Most moral decisions seem insignificant and without consequences at the time.
But as time goes on, a pattern emerges. The little decisions set the stage for the big ones. I remind you of the old saying:
Sow a thought and reap an act;
Sow an act and reap a habit;
Sow a habit and reap a destiny.
Hence the call of Christ the King is for each of us for constant conversion. "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."
To do this is astonishingly easy WATCH THE LITTLE THINGS.
And so, after another year of following Christ, I conclude with the question I began with: "Is Christ more king of my life today than a year ago?"
Fr. Douglas Pankhurst. "Feast of Christ the King." Catholic Educator's Resource Center.
This article reprinted with permission from Fr. Douglas Pankhurst.
Fr. Douglas Pankhurst was born in Vancouver in 1915 and has been a Redemptorist priest since 1942. After more than 40 years of teaching and pastoring across Canada, in 1988 he studied Canon Law and embarked upon his retirement apostolate, working with the Vancouver Marriage Tribunal."
I pray we all passed this exam question this year. We will definitely have to answer it at the moment of our death.
Great annual question! Great article for reflection! God bless you and all!
FROM THE PASTOR
By Fr. George W. Rutler
November 23, 2008
The Statuary Hall in the Capitol in Washington has fifty statues representing a representative hero of each state. Three of them are of Catholic priests: Father Eusebio Kino of Arizona, Blessed Junipero Serra of California, and Blessed Damien de Veuster of Hawaii.
These priestly presences may irritate the secularists who are trying to renovate our public buildings into temples of self-exaltation. The Ten Commandments are engraved on the Supreme Court building where guides now refer to them as “Ten Amendments.” There are efforts to remove references to God from the burial rites in Arlington National Cemetery.
A visitors’ center in the Capitol finally is being completed at a mind-boggling cost of $600 million of your tax money. Typical of government projects, its completion is several years late and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. While its marble corridors will feature displays of Earth Day celebrations and AIDS rallies along with information about industry, it will ignore the Christian roots and heritage of our country. The original plans left out the national motto “In God We Trust” and the arrival of Christian missionaries was mentioned in passing as an “invasion.” To date, 108 members of Congress have signed a petition against this disservice to history.
It would be easy to exploit this out of demagoguery, and some politicians do indeed like to pose righteously protesting against “the removal of God” from our culture. That kind of rhetoric itself betrays some insecurity about God’s ability to be God. God cannot be removed from anything because he is eternal and omnipresent. Attempts to marginalize God only marginalize those who try. The Catholic should understand this better than anyone, for the Holy Church outlives all nations and cultures. In the practical order, however, many nominal Catholics do not realize how they have been invaded by banal agnosticism and degraded by cultural mediocrity. Once in preparing a wedding, a bride from another part of the country wanted excerpts from Ernest Hemingway and Kahlil Gibran read as scripture in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Her reaction to my refusal was the indignation of an indulged youth who had never been denied access to a parallel universe of sentimental delights. It has been observed that even many self-styled Christians seek no Saviour for they do not know that there is anything to be saved from.
A presidential proclamation of Thanksgiving Day enshrines a civic obligation to the Divine Creator, but for some it is a vestigial tribute to custom, encroached by football and parades. No president is a pontiff, and civic prayers are only commentary on the Eucharistic duty of the stewards of God’s creation. So the Feast of Christ the King, which we celebrate today, puts all civic intuitions of God into perspective, and reminds us that Jesus was crowned with thorns by self-satisfied people who hymned their way to destruction by shouting, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Fr. Ryan used his homily to show us a thick book on 'The Catholic Church' that Fr. Kairouz loaned to him. In it he bookmarked the Eastern Catholic Churches and noted to all present that "they are in communion with Rome" ... lol ... which, of course, we all know. He also read to us a paragraph in the book on The Maronites, which drew nodding heads as we already know that history as well. He then pulled out a book with all the documents from Vatican Council II and flipped to another bookmarked page that spoke of the "need to retain the rich heritage of the Eastern Catholic Churches". It was very heartening for all of us to see Fr. Ryan had 'discovered' the Churches of the East.
Just when we thought for sure he would move on to his homily, he whipped out a Catholic newspaper and opened to a picture of the Maronite Patriarch - Mar Nasrallah Cardinal Sfeir - saying Mass at a church in Qatar. The article was an interview with the Cardinal and he began to quote certain extracts. The article spoke of 500 years of persecution of christians in the Middle East and how many young christian men and women, who can't obtain jobs in their homeland, leave for other countries - 'including the US' (another revelation to Fr. Ryan :-). He then quoted the Patriarch who has invited those in the diaspora to "come home" - not permanently, but to visit. He thought it was more than a coincidence that Fr. Kairouz had done just that and entrusted his parish community to the care of himself (Fr. Ryan) in his absence. He eventually moved into a fine homily that concluded with a quote from Pope Pius XI who instituted this feast day. The pope asked that each year a particular prayer, dedicating and entrusting the world to the Sacred Heart, be prayed on this feast and so, Fr. Ryan concluded his homily by saying that prayer, to which we all responded Amen!
Afterwards, Fr. Ryan joined us in the back of the Church for refreshments. Today's Mass was offered up for Baby Michael David Hannoush (deceased) by his parents, little brother and infant sister. There were wonderful delicacies - from Lebanese pizza to bakery cookies. We all made Fr. Ryan feel at home and he relished the companionship of this small Catholic community. I introduced him to some of the other RCs as well as the Maronite parishioners who have come here their entire lives. He was beaming from ear to ear when I left.
In the Maronite Liturgical Calendar, we are now in the Season of Announcements. Last Sunday was the Announcement to Zechariah. Today we would normally have celebrated ...
Epistle: Gal 3:15-22
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
We are all most grateful to Fr. Ryan who gave of his time to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with us today (and next Sunday) and our pastor, Fr. Kairouz, who postponed his visit home, refusing to leave until he could provide us with a priest so we could celebrate Mass at our own parish. May our Lord richly bless and reward them both!
**The Statuary Hall in the Capitol in Washington has fifty statues representing a representative hero of each state. Three of them are of Catholic priests: Father Eusebio Kino of Arizona, Blessed Junipero Serra of California, and Blessed Damien de Veuster of Hawaii.**
I have a video from the Serra Club about Blessed Junipero Serra and it starts out with the fact about the statue at the federal capitol. Also there is a statue of Blessed Junipero Serra on the State of California grounds in Sacramento.
The bureaucrats really can’t remove them, because they are a part of the state and national history.
Our priest’s sermon was much along these lines, great annual question — What are the little things that I did for others this past year.
He had several examples of Christ coming into our lives:
I was the mean kid on the playground and yet you were my friend.
I was the person in the grocery line who you let go ahead of you.
I was the person who was irritable at work and yet you listened with kindness.
I was the person on the phone and you were nice to me even though you didn’t want to be on the phone.
I was the person who held the door open for you as you came into church today.
I was the person who was driving 35 in a 45 mile zone and you did get angry at me.
Just little things — each and every day.
Oops that last one should have been
I was the person who was driving 35 in a 45 mile zone and you didn’t get angry at me.
I thought that one sounded a bit off. :)
LOL! Yes, my typo.
Thanks for the ping (and reminder).
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