FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
My Dear Parishioners:
Our world is a very busy and fast paced place. From within it we can find many things that are at war to grab our attention. The average intention span can only be held for a few minutes before we are left searching for something else. We are left searching from within our own restlessness for the next big thing that will come along and fill us up. We can see this played out each year as the Black Friday sales continue to be pushed forward into Thanksgiving Day. Giant televisions, laptops, clothing, and other items drop in price, so that the fight of the masses can take place in hope that you will walk away as the victor. As our liturgical year ends, we celebrate this day where we acknowledge Christ as our king. On this day we flock to Christ and place Him at the center of our attention and worship. This solemnity is the perfect way for us to end this liturgical year with focused minds as we enter the season of Advent and begin to prepare ourselves for Christmas Day.
In our world we build up our own kingdoms surrounded by the many needs that we have. In building up each of these individual kingdoms we store up many worldly treasures for ourselves without always allowing ourselves to see Christ at the center of our lives. The days following Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas are days filled with this materialistic mentality. Advent is a voice far different than this because we are not being called to enter into the machine of materialism but are being called to prepare ourselves for the arrival of Christ. Our needs and our wants should be brought on Christmas Day to Christ born inside of the manger. In the lowliness of this place, we encounter the great King of the Universe. We encounter the King who would suffer and die upon the cross for all our sins. Despite this lowliness He would endure and now reigns in Heaven in hope to lead each of us away from all sin and fear, so that we can one day share in the glory of His Heavenly Kingdom.
This solemnity that is being celebrated today was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in hope to draw people’s hearts and souls towards Christ. In his encyclical letter Quas Primas translated into English as In the First he referred to the importance of this great solemnity. Pope Pius XI saw the problem that comes with growing nationalism and secularism and reminds the faithful inside of this letter of the importance of Christ being seen as the king who stands at the center of the world. The world cannot cut Christ off from its midst as it continues to grow and change, but instead we all need Christ all the more. This great concern that Pope Pius XI was speaking to inside of this letter is still being felt within our world today. It seems that we continue to make the excuse to banish Christ from our midst. This solemnity has been placed upon the liturgical calendar as reminder that this is not a possible option because Christ is the King who reigns in our midst each day.
From the dialogue between Christ and Pilate that is found inside of Saint John’s Gospel we can gather three things about Christ as king. Firstly, we are told that Christ is a king, secondly, we hear about the nature of His Kingdom, and finally we are told about all those who He reigns over. Pilate asks if Christ is a king, but Christ does not want to give a direct answer because he is not a king in the worldly sense that Pilate would understand. He also did not deny it because He was a king in a spiritual sense as King of Kings. The nature of His kingdom is being given with His response of “for this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” From this statement we can gather that all the faithful have been called to follow Christ who gathers each of the faithful inside of His Kingdom. He finally closes by saying “everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Christ reigns as King over each of the faithful who can listen to His voice.
On this solemnity of Christ the King may we allow ourselves to listen to the voice of Christ. We must ask ourselves what things cling to our hearts and ears and helps to continually pull us away from this kingdom. Christ desires that we can all share within this kingdom one day, but if we are unable and unwilling to open to his voice of love how can we ever hope to accomplish this task? If we continue to be fed by the longing of materialism, how can we ever hope to be filled by Christ who desires that we will listen to His voice? May we use this day and the whole season of Advent to separate ourselves from this sense of loss and finally commit ourselves fully to the voice of Christ which comforts all our needs. No matter what these needs may be for us, may we understand that Christ is prepared to receive each of them and give us guidance in our time of need. Gathering each of these longings together, Christ gives hope to each of us that one day we can dwell with Him in the Kingdom of God.
This Kingdom that we have been invited to share is a Kingdom of truth and justice. It is a Kingdom of peace and joy. It is a Kingdom where love, holiness, life, and grace reigns always. With all the fears and needs that we might have, may we allow this Kingdom to become our primary goal within our lives. May we look to Christ our triumphant King with great hope and joy because His Kingdom is everlasting. All majesty and splendor are His because without Christ we are left with nothing. May we no longer allow ourselves to be filled by passing desires, but may we allow our attention to be placed upon Christ the King. Through this King, this great Kingdom is shown to us where we can receive every longing that we might have. The Lord is great and is clothed in majesty as He reaches out to us with love. May we reciprocate with this love that is being shown to us to draw ourselves closer to Christ’s Kingdom.
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