Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
On this final Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. We acknowledge Jesus as King of the Universe, of the earth and of our lives.
This does not mean Jesus imposes himself or that we impose on others. Imposition takes away something essential – freedom. You will notice that Jesus declares himself king only at the moment when he is most powerless. Do you remember last summer when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish? The people wanted to make him king, but he fled from them. His kingship does not involve violence and imposition.
Today, however, when Jesus stands powerless before Pilate – who represents the might of Rome – Jesus looks him in the eye and says, “I am king.”
Jesus is king, a humble king, yes, but still king above every other. We heard today that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end of all that exists. As king of the universe he is naturally meant to be king of earthly rulers – and of your life and mine: Not just when we pray, not just when we go to Mass (for sure, that’s a darn good start) but also every moment of every day.
You and I have to make a choice. We are in a spiritual battle – and we have to decide, choose a banner. Are we going to place ourselves under the banner of Christ or the banner of Satan? Do not fool yourself – there is no third alternative. Sometimes a guy will try to stand apart and say, “I did it my way.” That guy may be in for a shock. When he dies, Satan may meet him with a grin, “You thought you were doing it your way. All the time you were doing it my way. Come on in.”
We have to choose. I would like to conclude by telling about a man who made a decision in a dramatic way. This is a true story:
The man was on a business trip in Vegas, far from his wife and children. He especially missed his three-year-old daughter, whom he loved. That night he had a horrible dream. In it he was seated on a staircase, holding his dying daughter in his arms. He could do nothing for her and was sobbing bitterly. When he awoke, he immediately called his wife in Seattle. She assured him everything was OK; the children were fine – and reminded him that it was 2 in the morning.
Still agitated, he called his father who lived in another country. His dad was surprised to get a call in the middle of the night, but also happy to hear his son’s voice. The man told his father about the terrible dream. His dad spoke some profound, powerful words, “Hijo mio”, my son, remember that everything you have, everything you cherish – even your daughter – is only yours on loan. Jesus has entrusted your family to you – and you must give him thanks every day for such beautiful gifts. And care for them in Jesus name.”
When he hung up the phone, the man knelt by his hotel bed and prayed. “Jesus, protect my family. Help me be a good husband and a good father. I am grateful for all you have given me. I acknowledge you as my Lord and King.”
This Sunday Jesus shows himself as a humble king – and he asks us to accept his rule in our families and in every aspect of our lives.
Peace and Everything good!
Fr. Valery Burusu