I encourage you to reflect, today, just for a moment on some of the special people or ideas or movements that have, at some time in your life, attracted you strongly and fired your imagination. Who were the people, what were those challenges that captured your heart and brought new hope and excitement into your life? Be thankful for them.
In this way I want to introduce you to today’s feast – the feast of Christ the King. Because most people deeply desire to be in some way committed to someone or something greater than themselves, Pope Pius the XI in 1925, instituted this feast as a focus for the human spirit. Today the invitation goes out again to all the world. On the threshold of the churches new year beginning with next Sunday‘s Advent Eucharist, we sense the excitement of a new start, of another chance.
Jesus Christ is the most unlikely king. He was a homeless child, a rejected prophet, a wandering and battered teacher. He rode on a donkey and never owned an earthly spot, lived like a nomad, held no political office and died a failure – he is now a king with a difference!
Jesus Christ is the king of love and justice and the territory of his kingdom is the countryside of people’s hearts. Building up this kingdom with him is slow, painstaking work. In our parishes, in our communities, it is about bread-and-butter things like caring and sharing, visiting and welcoming, supporting and befriending. It is about a new way of living and a new world order. It is about giving a voice to the voiceless and listening to them. It is about recognising everyone as a daughter or son of God.
Kingdom building is about the right to life of beast and bird, tree and buttercup, earth and water, chicken and child. Where people try harder to love each other, to break down the walls that spring up between us, to risk becoming vulnerable, to give and not to count the cost – that is where the kingdom is taking root and the King of Peace is smiling.
So dear friends, to day we are all called
To use our divine power to heal each other
To spread the joyful riches of Christ the King,
To lift each other up rather than put each other down.
To hunger after peace and equality everywhere,
To struggle for justice and freedom
So that the Body of Christ will grow stronger each passing day
May God prepare our hearts during this coming Advent to welcome our small king with joy.
(St Benedict’s Parish bulletin, November 1991 – still relevant today?)