Who is Your King?

  November 24-25, 2007


Christ The King

2 Sam 5: 1-3; 2 Col 1: 12-20; Luke 23: 35-43

Dc. Larry Brockman

Is Christ your King?  This is the question raised in today’s liturgy.   

As Jesus hung on the cross,  He was mocked by the people;  And the rulers sneered at him; they challenged him to show he was king by coming down from the cross.  But, that was not God’s will for him.  God’s will for Jesus was that he preach God’s message- a message that appeals to us to believe in an unseen God; a message that teaches love of God and neighbor, not selfishness; a message that includes the beatitudes.  The beatitudes demand a conversion of the heart, not just strict obedience to the law; and a message that calls us to respond of our own free will, to accept the invitation to the Kingdom  by doing God’s will on earth.  But it must be a voluntary acceptance.  God did not want Jesus to come down off the cross, because He wanted those to choose Him and believe based on the message itself; he didn’t want people to be swayed by power alone. 

Christ’s Kingship and Kingdom were described by Paul to the Colossians.  Jesus is the image of the invisible God; all things were created for him; he is pre-eminent; he makes peace by the blood of his cross; and, as Paul says, “Jesus delivered us from the power of darkness to share in the Kingdom of light”.   

This is a very appropriate time to celebrate Christ the King.  The feast was first put on the Church Calendar by Pius XI in 1925 as a reminder of Christ’s kingship because of things going on in the world at that time, things which are being echoed in different ways today.  In Pius XI’s time, just after WW I, the Bolsheviks were bringing Atheistic Communism into Russia and recovery from WW I was characterized by an abandonment of Christian values for secular solutions.  The Pope saw wholesale abandonment of Christian Values on the horizon.  So, he instituted the feast of Christ the King to remind all Catholics who their king was; and to renew their commitment to Christian Values.  Today, we are experiencing a push to Atheism and an abandonment of Christian values as well-  abandonment of school prayer; forbidding prayer at School commencements; openly atheistic values being pushed in children’s films; large companies abandoning “Merry Christmas” for “Happy Holidays”.  They use the argument that they don’t want to offend as a ruse;  And now, some stores are selling “Family Trees” not Christmas Trees.  It’s all part of a very deliberate nudge to Godlessness, to atheism.  Similarly, our values are eroding.  Abortion and Euthanasia are being pushed; it’s all about convenience; it’s all about number one; not about our neighbor;  and the sanctity of marriage is being attacked on multiple fronts.  These are the same kinds of symptoms that Pius XI saw in 1925.  We need to be reminded, just as the people in 1925, that Christ is our King, that we are Christians above all and that we must live by Christian values to merit His kingdom.  It is a call to renewal.   

In the first reading, the Israelites “renewed” their covenant with God, by anointing David King and by walking away from Saul, who had abandoned their core values.  We are being called to do the same- to renew our commitment to Christ and Christian values; not just in our private lives, but also in our public lives.   

How can you do that?  First, you need to learn more about your faith so you can defend it.  Our parish offers opportunities to do that for adults like the new Catechism classes being organized.  Second, you can stand up for Christian values by publicly taking a stand.  It can be as simple as letting the store manager know that practices like Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, and “Family Trees” instead of Christmas Trees offend us as Christians because they take Christ out of Christmas, and that is Wrong!   

There’s an interesting story I’d like to leave you with about standing up for your values.  It’s about an English historian and writer, Hilaire Belloc, who ran for the British Parliament.    His opponents tried to scare off his supporters by claiming that Belloc’s faithfulness to the Catholic Church would inhibit him from being objective.  Belloc responded in a speech:   “Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every day. This [taking his beads out of his pocket] is a rosary.  As far as possible, I kneel down and use these beads every day.  If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God for having spared me the indignity of being your representative.”  The crowd was shocked for a minute, and then burst out in applause.  Belloc went on to win that election, and many more. 

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