ON THIS SOLEMNITY OF JESUS CHRIST THE KING the Church throughout the world proclaims the reality that Jesus Christ is King of the Universe – there is no higher authority. Despite the titles so many prize or how powerful human individuals think they are, no human-designed democratic, sovereign or dictatorial government or human governing or judicial body (including any president, congressman, supreme court justice, judge or magistrate, legislator, governor, mayor, monarch, chancellor, premiere, university president or professor, school principal or teacher, theologian or author, priest or religious sister or brother, school board or library board president, activist, et cetera) anywhere on this earth, no one reigns supreme above God the Father, or His Son Jesus Christ the King. There is still such a need for this proclamation because, like at the time of the institution of this Solemnity, so many civil governments and governing entities looked at Jesus Christ and His message as a “threat” to their human power rather than Christ’s message being the road to redemption that leads all men and women to salvation. Our celebration of Jesus Christ as King today means that we truly place Jesus in our lives first, foremost, at all times, in all situations. On this last Sunday of this liturgical year before Advent begins next Sunday, we celebrate publicly that Jesus is first in our lives – above any elected or appointed government or judicial official, any political party, any popular contemporary figure, any human person – period. When we proclaim Jesus Christ as King, we hold Him highest above any human person. In this regard we can say that today is really a celebration of the first of the ten commandments: “I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.” In today’s Gospel (John 18:33-37) Jesus shows us one way to put him first. He says, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). So putting Jesus first means listening to His voice of truth, and then living by His truth. In everything we think and do and say let us listen to the voice of Jesus. We begin making Jesus King of our lives by firstly making Jesus King of our minds and then King of our actions. I say this because we live in an age and time where increasingly many people trample on Jesus Christ the King in order to advance their personal, social or political agenda, and in doing so actually “de-throne” Christ as King and put themselves in a place of primacy above Him. Being glib and articulate, using key words and catchy phrases, often they are masters at bringing confusion to members of our society; they often lead people away from Christ. Sometimes this is done under the guise of being “progressive.” And when some form of “progressive” sentiment is proclaimed, it can appeal to many who embrace popular thought or culture of the day, versus adhering to the timeless truths of sacred scripture as Christ’s disciples. People forget: “Anyone who is so ‘progressive’ as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:10). And so on the Solemnity of Christ the King we have yet another opportunity given to us to reconnect with Christ, to return to Him as our King, to listen to Him as our King, to remain in His teachings, and to live His teachings as “doers of the word, not hearers only” (James 1:22). And so we recognize that we have the capacity to resist those contrary persons who want us to follow them. We recognize that when we fill our minds with the voice of truth, the voice of Jesus Christ our King – as opposed to filling our minds with contrary voices – this will have a positive effect in every aspect of our earthly lives. Each of will be much happier persons, leading more faith-filled and fulfilling lives, with clarity of direction, meaning and purpose. When we make Jesus King of our minds it is much easier to also make Jesus King of our actions. We make Jesus King of our actions when we have to make a decision and we choose to do what would be pleasing to Jesus. “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). And so our celebration today is a joyful one because today we place Jesus Christ the King first and foremost on all aspects of our lives, in all times, in all seasons, in all places; we Jesus King of our lives. We make Jesus King of our minds by blocking out voices that are contrary to Jesus and filling our minds with what would please Jesus. Let’s have Jesus reign in our minds and hearts, so that we may live lives that are truly fulfilling to each of us, and pleasing to Him.
- HOLY CROSS INTERIOR RENOVATION UPDATE: Our hope was to be back in our parish Church of Holy Cross by the First Sunday of Advent, but that will not be happening given some added issues related to the renovation which, of course, added time. We are pushing to be back for Mass by Sunday, December 14, and will certainly keep you posted. Without a doubt we will have Christmas Masses at Holy Cross. (I must say the work that has been completed thus far is very impressive!)
- THANK YOU for your generous donations of just over $5,000.00 last weekend during the special second collection to feed needy families on Thanksgiving Day. Our collective response will feed 200 families of four.
- Remember to give thanks to God on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. at Saint Joseph Cathedral. Pariah Offices are closed November 27 and 28 for the holiday.
- The Holy Cross and Cathedral “Giving Trees” are up this weekend – please see the center of this bulletin for information on the Giving Trees and how you can help those in need at Christmas.
~ Fr. Mike Lumpe