Saturday, November 19, 2005

Feast of Christ the King

The Sunday before Advent is the Feast of Christ the King. A fitting feast and celebration to remind us of the coming weeks that ought to prepare our souls for Christmas.

For the past few weeks the Sunday readings have held the theme of preparing for the coming of the King. We see that there are two groups of people - one group who dutifully prepares for their Master's coming and one who does nothing to prepare.

In Matthew 25: 1-13, we hear of the story of the virgins, those who prepared themselves by bringing extra oil for their lamps to meet the bridegroom and those who never thought of bringing any. Then, Matthew 25: 14-30 tells us of the parable of the talents, where two of the three servants had invested their talents and the third did nothing with his. Finally on the feast of Christ the King, we hear in Matthew 25: 31-46 of the King judging these two groups, separating them as sheep and goats, placing the sheep in His right Hand and the goats on His left, and saying to the sheep "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.".

Saint Josemaria Escriva wrote about this glorious feast of Our Lord in his book "Christ is Passing".

He is our King. He desires ardently to rule our hearts, because we are children of God. But we should not try to imagine a human sort of rule — Christ does not dominate or seek to impose Himself, because He “has not come to be served but to serve.” His Kingdom is one of peace, of joy, of justice. Christ our King does not expect us to spend our time in abstract reasoning; he expects deeds, because “not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord!, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven; but He who does the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 7:21)” Christ is Passing By, 93

Where is the King? Could it be that Jesus wants to reign above all in men’s hearts, in your heart? That is why he has become a Child, for who can help loving a little baby? Where then is the King? Where is the Christ whom the Holy Spirit wants to fashion in our souls? He cannot be present in the pride that separates us from God, nor in the lack of charity which cuts us off from others. Christ cannot be there. In that loveless state man is left alone. Christ is Passing By, 31

Christ should reign first and foremost in our soul. But how would we reply if He asked us: “How do you go about letting Me reign in you?” I would reply that I need lots of His grace. Only that way can my every heartbeat and breath, my least intense look, my most ordinary word, my most basic feeling be transformed into a hosanna to Christ my King. Christ is Passing By, 181

If we let Christ reign in our soul, we will not become authoritarian. Rather we will serve everyone. How I like that word: service! To serve my King and, through Him, all those who have been redeemed by His Blood. I really wish we Christians knew how to serve, for only by serving can we know and love Christ and make him known and loved. Christ is Passing By, 182

That is the calling of Christians, that is our apostolic task, the desire which should consume our soul: to make this Kingdom of Christ a reality, to eliminate hatred and cruelty, to spread throughout the earth the strong and soothing balm of love. Let us ask our King today to make us collaborate, humbly and fervently, in the divine task of mending what is broken, of saving what is lost, of fixing what man has put out of order, of bringing to his destination whoever has gone off the right road, of reconstructing the harmony of all created things. Christ is Passing By, 183

We are celebrating today the feast of Christ the King. And I do not go outside my role as a priest when I say that if anyone saw Christ’s Kingdom in terms of a political program he would not have understood the supernatural purpose of the faith, and he would risk burdening consciences with weights which have nothing to do with Jesus, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Let us really love all men; let us love Christ above all; and then we cannot avoid loving the rightful freedom of others, living in harmony with them. Christ is Passing By, 184

(From Josemaria Escriva)


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