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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Feast of Christ the King

This is the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year and it is fitting that we honor Christ as King. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux has a homily which I will quote from as it is still valuable many centuries later. He prays:

"Blessed are they in whom Jesus will reign forever, for they shall reign with him, and of his kingdom there shall be no end....And now, Lord Jesus, come and remove the stumbling blocks within the kingdom which is my soul, so that you who ought to may reign in it. Greed comes along and claims its throne in me; arrogance would dominate me; pride would be my king....But I resist insofar as I can; I struggle against them insofar as I receive your help. I protest that Jesus is my Lord. I keep myself for him since I acknowledge his rights over me....I will have no king but the Lord Jesus! Come then, Lord, rout them by your power and you will reign in me, for you are my king and my God."

A good reflection as we prepare this coming week for Advent begins on December 1st and we need to pray about how to prepare for the coming of Jesus into our hearts again this Christmas before we get caught up in all the material preparations. 

Here is something copied from Father Roger Karban that is in the NCR: "It is
 important to note that only Luke's Jesus encounters a good thief. In the other three Passion narratives, both criminals go to their deaths cursing and berating Jesus. One of the reasons Luke introduces this particular person -- beyond his overriding interest to present Jesus as innocent -- revolves around his constant concern to show Jesus as a person for others. No matter the pain Jesus is suffering, he's always concerned for others' pain. Only in Luke's Gospel is Jesus depicted as worrying about what will happen to the women who mourn his crucifixion, and he alone has Jesus look sympathetically at Peter after his threefold denial. No other evangelist has Jesus restore the lopped-off ear of the man in the garden.

No matter what title biblical Christians attached to Jesus, they were confident they were dealing with someone who always focused on them, not on himself. Referring to him as king forced them to look at leadership from a different perspective, especially Christian leadership.

It's essential to know what Christ the King is all about, since we should be about the same things.

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