“Don’t allow donkeys or elephants to make you forget that we belong to the Lamb of God!” was my favorite election time slogan last year. While political parties roared and brayed back and forth, my constant hope was rooted in Christ, knowing whoever became president, Jesus was still our King.
This, of course, is not to say that I had no role in the political system or voting process. Quite the opposite. Christians maintain their baptismal call to go out into the world and share the good news, all while not being of the world. Continuing to build the Kingdom of God now, Catholics are called to live “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Remembering what king we serve and learning our place and what role we play in the kingdom of God is especially needed these days. Earth, and actually the whole universe, is governed by Christ the King. The beauty of this fact is that it transcends our earthly lives; Christ’s kingship rightly rules heaven and earth. His kingship is to rule everything, starting first with our own little hearts, bodies and minds. Radiating out from our souls, He desires to rule our lives, homes, towns, communities, counties and world, bringing all into complete union with His sacred heart.
We, too, have a crucial part. Jesus, ever the gentleman, knocks at the door to our souls, patiently waiting to be let in. Free will can open or close that door to the King.
As His creation, we have the incredible opportunity of working with Him to grow His kingdom. Allowing Christ to not only be the center of our lives, but to truly lead them, guide them and direct them, is a privilege. Living as His stewards, we can begin our day by asking God, “What would you like me to do today? Who would you like me to speak to? How do you want me to conduct my business”? Inviting the Holy Spirit to direct our schedule offers us the chance to moment by moment, choice by choice, follow our King’s will.
In acknowledging and accepting Christ as King of our hearts, our minds and our lives, everything becomes rightly ordered again. God masterfully designed and created the universe and each person to correctly do their parts. Like a beautiful symphony, each role plays a note that together creates the harmony we all innately desire.
So much of the discord in society today comes from forgetting this truth. For example, when humans forget that they are created beings, not the creator, disorder occurs. When people forget their place, their unique role to play, and desire to play God’s position instead, chaos ensues. In vitro fertilization, systemic racism, birth control, ignoring homeless individuals and supporting legalized euthanasia are just some of the many common personal and social disorders that began by forgetting Christ the King.
The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25 verses 31-46, speaks clearly about these sins of commission and omission. Each Catholic is called to live rightly within God’s plan for the world. Neglecting the good work each person is uniquely called to do negates the great gift and responsibility bestowed upon each of the baptized. Focusing on oneself and not living life for others may seem harmless, but can distort a holy soul and the opportunity hoped for it. With Christ as our King — and Our Lady as queen — our disordered, warped world can be re-ordered according to God’s hope.
The last Sunday of the liturgical calendar is an apt reminder of divine order. In fact, the whole liturgical calendar, circling through the life of Christ, builds to this crowning day, the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The readings from the whole last week of November speak of being prepared, watchful and ready for the coming of our King. This last Sunday of the liturgical year strengthens our desire for heaven and guides us to prepare for it. Through fasting, prayer, work and God’s grace every day, we can re-order ourselves first and then our world, trusting in the good shepherd, the king of love, Jesus Christ. Long live Christ the King! Viva Christo Rey!
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