Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King and the last week in Ordinary Time for this liturgical year. This day is powerful for so many reasons, but it was ultimately the Church declaring who is King of heaven and earth. To call Christ a King is unusual for us today. We just do not know many kings or queens in today’s age. This was a proclamation during the chaos of communism and many other societal and political distractions for many people and Christians in the world.
Has today’s society changed from when this feast was first established in the Church? Or are there even more distractions that pull us away from focusing on God in our lives? What am I saying! That proclaiming Christ as King is just as important today than in any previous generation. Every person has many distractions and we can justify and come up with so many reasons why Christ is not the center (King) of our lives.
The gospel is always compelling on this feast day. The Church has chosen the “good” thief on the cross. Despite his own sin and wrongdoing, he has the insight to see who Jesus is. To this penitential man Jesus is the one who can in many ways move him beyond death. Jesus recognizing his penitent heart and promises the man paradise in eternity. As this man approaches his death, he knows Jesus is innocent of his charges and at the same time can offer what his soul desires – eternal life.
Can you imagine having that kind of insight and the fortitude to live it out throughout our lives? For us we know that our faith in Jesus leads to eternity. What is most compelling and challenging to us is the ability to see that, in every circumstance of our daily life. The penitent man next to Jesus on the cross is contrite and ready to open his heart to the merciful forgiveness of God. He probably regrets not being where he is at with his relationship with Jesus prior to his own cross. That is our call. If we recognize the value of eternity today it will make our everyday more and more valuable. If we live knowing Christ is our King he will lead us to the everlasting way.
Thank you for your cooperation with last week’s In-Pew process relating to the renovation of the seminary. I am grateful for having the opportunity to address you about this initiative in the diocese. Your generosity is powerful. I will certainly let you know how we move from this point on. Please know that whatever you give towards this Campaign that I am most grateful for what you do for us.
Another Thank You for those who came forward to donate winter coats and jackets for young people at Joseph House. We are blessed with people who hear a need and quickly respond. Much like those who today will create and disperse Thanksgiving food baskets to families throughout the Kirtland area. I hope that this week finds all of us offering thanks and gratitude to God for all he has given to us.
Tuesday, November 26th at 7:00PM at the Historic Temple in Kirtland we gather with many of the pastors and ministers of the various churches in the area. We come together to offer thanks to God for the many blessings given to all of us. All are invited to attend. Thanksgiving Day, November 28th we celebrate Mass at 9AM followed by coffee and donuts. This is a great way to start the holiday season. I hope you consider joining us for Mass.
The season of Advent begins next Sunday, December 1st. Of course, the color purple is prominent with the hope of stirring anticipation in the hearts of those who gather and worship with us. The advent wreath is displayed and allows us to count down until the moment God will break into the world in a way least expected. And we not only reflect on the coming of Jesus Christ, but also reflect on waiting for him to come a second time.
These weeks that point us to the end of the calendar year will slip by us. It is our opportunity to place ourselves before an all-powerful God and truly pause and pray through these days. I hope that the Advent and Christmas season finds us seeking the need for a Savior. If we believe we can get by on our own in this life, then we are fooling ourselves. Faith helps us realize just how much we need God and just how dependent we all are on Him.