King of the Universe

We made it through another liturgical year.  Today is the feast of Christ the King, which celebrates the dominion of our Lord over all.

The regional provincial of the Salesians was visiting today.  He’s an engaging speaker, and gives excellent homilies.  I think I’ve mentioned it before, but he exemplifies the charism of the Salesian order through his patience and understanding with people, as well as the way he teaches and explains things.

His homily focused on the Gospel, which comes from John’s rendition of the trial before Pilate.  This is the only place where Jesus actually uses the term king in reference to Himself.  Fr. Provincial gave an interesting explanation that Jesus answered the question “are you a king” with the question of if Pilate was saying this on his own or if others had told him because the Jews and the Romans had different concepts of what a king was.  For the Romans, Caesar was king due to his temporal power.  Jewish kings were designated by God to guide the people.  Neither one fits for Jesus.  Jesus did not come as an earthly, political power, nor was he God’s designee; he IS God.  So, neither one fits, and by asking the question, Jesus turns the tableau around and, even though he is the prisoner, becomes the teacher and shows his authority and majesty.

Fr. went on to emphasize that we still (mistakenly) fall into this trap of thinking that Christ is king only in a spiritual/abstract sense or that the Church is God’s kingdom, and should therefore be a political powerhouse.  Rather, we need to ensure that we, who are God’s kingdom, make the kingdom manifest beyond the four walls of the church building (with the example of resisting government restrictions on public practice of religion) and not to rely on the Vatican to take care of political/moral quandaries in our countries.  That’s up to us, even though it’s hard.  Even so, we need to remember that Christ showed forth his majesty through his suffering (tying the Gospel to the first reading, from the book of Daniel, where the Son of Man was meant to suffer), and conquered all.  Nothing can stand against him, not death, not Islamo-fascism, not Ebola (again) (yep, another three cases, even though we were just a couple of weeks away from ending the additional 90-days of “heightened monitoring” after being declared Ebola free.).

In the end, God has conquered all, and will conquer all at his second coming.

Really an inspiring homily, and I’m sure I haven’t done it justice.  Suffice to say, it was a good way to end a rather turbulent liturgical year.