Audio: click here
Although it has been a part of our faith from the earliest times that Jesus Christ, who as we say in our creed "sits at the right hand of the father" and "will come to judge the living and the dead," today's Solemnity of Christ as King of the Universe is very new: only 90 years ago did Pius XI establish this feast.
Nor is this solemnity something on the fringe of our faith: in fact, every time we pray the Our Father, we pray that the Kingdom of God will come. Indeed this should be our prayer every moment of our lives: Lord, Your kingdom come!
But what is the Kingdom of Christ like? Jesus tells many parables about the Kingdom of God. He says it is like a treasure buried in a field and a pearl of great price, worth any and every sacrifice it costs us to gain it. He says it is like the mustard seed that grows from the smallest thing into the greatest. It is like the yeast that when kneaded into dough makes the whole loaf rise.
In the Preface that I will pray after the gifts are brought up, right before we enter into the Eucharistic Prayer, the Kingdom of Christ is described as "a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace." If only all kingdoms were of this kind! In the midst of such tragedy that our world sees, is this not the greatest news we could wish for?
Today Jesus speaks to Pilate about His kingdom with the following words: "My Kingdom is not of this world". Is this not perhaps the great tragedy and sorrow of human history? Isn't that precisely the problem of our world, the cause of our woes, and the result of our continued resistance to conversion? It seems this is something we know too well: His kingdom "is not of this world," this world of selfishness, of pride, of seizing power and abusing power.
And yet, in the darkness of our world, we have seen glimpses of the light: we have seen the saints, we have seen the simple and pure acts of love, within our mother the Church and even at times outside of her. We see in the hearts of the Christians that the Kingdom of Christ, though it is not of this world, is even so still breaking into this world! In families that live for Christ, in marriages that witness to his love to the point of dying, in the martyrs who refuse to let the evil of terrorism or bigotry conquer, in the charity and communion in spite of differences, we have seen the Kingdom of Christ break through into our world. Thank you Lord Jesus, for your Kingdom. Father, may your kingdom come. May our hearts be totally yours. On the throne that all of our hearts bears within, may you sit and reign as a king. May we throw aside our earthly crowns and take up your crown of thorns, the sign of your merciful love and our need for a savior. Live, Jesus in our hearts, now and forever.