Happy Christ the King Solemnity! This Sunday, we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King, which is the last Sunday of the liturgical year in the church. Although traditionally we open the New Year on January 1st, in the Church the new year begins with the First Sunday of Advent, which is next Sunday. For me personally, this Sunday is always an opportunity to ask a few questions and seek answers: Who is my King? Is Jesus really the King of my life?
What kind of King is Jesus? For a better understanding of Jesus as a King, and of His mission, let’s think for a moment of a deck of cards, yeah a deck of cards! You can even take a deck of cards into your hands (even if you don’t like to play cards) and find the images of kings.
First, look at the image of the king of clubs. Is Jesus a king of clubs? A club is an extension of a violent hand. A club is an extension of a hostile man. Christ cannot be the king of clubs, because Jesus is not here to sow violence. Jesus is here as a king of peace. Jesus is here, gentle and humble of heart, not to sow enmity among us. Jesus is here so that all may be brothers and sisters to one another.
Now, take the card with the king of spades? Is Jesus a King of spades? I don’t think so! A spade is used to throw dirt. Jesus is not here to make our lives dirty. Jesus is here to cleanse us from everything that defiles us. Jesus is not the king of spades because Jesus is not in the grave. Jesus has risen from the dead. Jesus is not the king of spades because the business of Jesus is not to make other people dirty, to make people look at the grave dug by spades. The business of Jesus is to give hope and purity to us.
Now, look at the card with a king of diamonds. He cannot be a king of diamonds, for he came to bless our poverty. Jesus came to bless our pains and our aches. Jesus is not here to make our lives easier and more comfortable. Jesus is here to give meaning and purpose to our crosses, pains, and trials.
So, there is only one left. The king of hearts. Jesus can only be the king of hearts. This is the kind of king that Jesus is. He is the king of the universe, and He is the king of hearts. Our King is loving, merciful, forgiving, and always in love with us, and always knocking on the door of our hearts.
He is patiently waiting for our YES, waiting for us to let Him in—that we may let Him live in our hearts, and let Him be the King of our hearts!
There is a story about a little girl who was standing with her grandfather by an old-fashioned open well. They had just lowered a bucket and had drawn some water to drink. She asked her grandfather: “Grandpa, where does God live?” The old man picked up the little girl and held her over the open well. “Look down at the water,” he said, “and tell me what you see.” “I see myself,” said the little girl. “That’s where God lives,” said the old man, “He lives in you.”
My friends God lives in you and me, so let us stop our gossiping, intrigues, destruction of one another, our intention to take revenge and pay an eye for an eye, be forgiving, be loving, and let Jesus live and reign in our hearts and our lives. Let us not be Christians of spades, clubs, or diamonds; let us be Christians, Catholics, joyful missionary disciples of hearts—like our King is.
This upcoming week we will be given such a beautiful opportunity to be thankful for everything, it’s THANKSGIVING week. Many of you will meet with family and friends to celebrate together. Despite of COVID, so much unrest in our country, and around the world these days – BE THANKFUL for everything, everything is a gift, everything is a blessing, even difficult situations, if we only recognize God’s presence in our midst of them.
From Nov 23 – 27 (Monday to Friday) I will be away. I decided, right before Advent, to have my yearly silent retreat to recharge my spiritual batteries, and refresh my love for God and my religious and priestly vocation. I will have my retreat at Catholic Family Land in Ohio. There will be still Mass every day in our church, but there will be no confession 30 minutes before. Confession will return on Saturday, Nov 28th,from 3:30 – 4:30. If you need a priest to visit someone who is sick or dying, and if urgent, please call the office and we will help you. I’d like to ask you for your prayers for me during my retreat, and I promise to continue my prayers for you. Hopefully, I’ll see you in Advent, already in a new liturgical year.