This week we celebrate once again the feast of Christ the King. Think for a moment on the question - what exactly is a king? A king is the absolute ruler of a kingdom. A king is a sovereign leader whose law reigns over his subjects.
Now I am sure most of us agree that Christ is the king over the entire world. But do we live with this constantly in mind? Does Christ actually rule over our lives, our families, our parishes and our world?
Yes, we celebrate his kingship. But do we actually live it?
The truth is we all fall short. We personally fall short, and the Church has allowed herself to fall short in the terrible scandals that have unfolded all over the world. But it is all-important that we never give up.
The Church has a divine, God-ordained mission, even when we fall short of living it to the full.
Christianity means living the teachings of Christ. It is living under his dominion as sons and daughters of his kingdom. Sometimes we forget the simple fact that Jesus is present in our midst. We forget that everything we do as Christians should be done in communion with the living Jesus. We forget that his kingdom is the ultimate reality and his kingship is absolute.
'The Lord is King, he is robed in majesty.'
This calls for humility. Profound humility. A deep internal recognition that Jesus is king of kings and lord of lords. He will judge the living and the dead. He will actually ask all of us to give an account for our lives. He will actually rule in us and over us for all eternity if we live as authentic children of his kingdom. He actually is the king of all creation.
Imagine the surprise of all who reject him. One day they will meet the Truth face to face. Imagine the denial, the excuses, the anger of those who lived their lives as though God did not exist.
Every knee is really going to bow before the Lord. What a day that will be when the truth is known by all! Every single human being will one day admit the truth that Jesus was, is and will always be king. There is no escaping truth.
The truth is that abortion is a crime, no matter our personal opinion. The truth is sex was designed for marriage. The truth is there will be profound and real consequences for allowing sin to run rampant in our lives and our society. The truth is we are all accountable for the choices we make.
The truth is that God's gift of everlasting life can be accepted or rejected. No one will be forced to live under the loving reign of Jesus in heaven. The truth is the teachings of Jesus are the eternal law that will reign forever. And we must take his word seriously in this life.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit" (n. 81).
Living the teaching of Scripture is the only sane response to the insanity of our time. Scripture is the living word of our patient and loving king. Jesus is king of mercy and he cries aloud to all: "Come while there is still time. Come and find forgiveness and peace. Come and let me reign in you and through you."
The Catholic Church is at a pivotal moment. Pope Benedict is challenging us all to take radical steps to renew our Church and our world. He is calling the "sleeping giant" to wake up now. This is no time to remain in spiritual slumber.
Every Catholic, every Christian is called to burn with the fire of a renewed love for our Sovereign King. In this Year of Faith we have a wonderful opportunity to proclaim with our entire lives, "Jesus is king and lord of all."
It is time for each one of us to deepen our spiritual life and practice. So let us pray. Pray every day. Pray without ceasing. Let us pray that we will all live as authentic Christians. Let us pray for Jesus to be our absolute king. Let us pray that his Sacred Heart will be alive in us.
Come Lord Jesus. Come reign as king in us all.