Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King, and I thought I would share with you the gist of the message given today in an awesome homily from our priest, Father Brian Johnson, at St. Benedict parish in Clarkson (Wax), Kentucky.
At the founding of our country, Americans joined together to throw off the bonds of oppression by a king; namely, King George III of Great Britain. In doing this, they rejected the idea of the “blue bloods” ruling over the masses. Even though this ethic of the rejection of “kings” continues to be strong in our country, it is a reality of human nature that we will seek out kings. Some call Elvis “the King” of music. Richard Petty, the NASCAR driver, is called “King Richard.” Budweiser is known as “King of Beers” and the Clydesdale breed used to promote that brand is known as “King of Horses.” This is a reflection of our natural desire that there be people and things that will set a “standard” by which others are measured. This is all well and good, as a reflection of our nature, but in the end, we must acknowledge Jesus as the True King of our Hearts. He is the ultimate standard by which we must judge our own lives. If we set other “kings” ahead of him, no matter what they may be, we are missing out on the glory of the true Kingdom of God.
When Jesus was asked by Pilate if He was King of the Jews, Jesus responded that His Kingdom is not of this world. When we say the “Our Father,” we say “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” The Kingdom of God is not of this world, but the Kingdom does come in this world when we who are in the world have Christ as our King in the manner that we live in the world. We seek a heavenly kingdom, the Kingdom of God, and so do all others, whether they realize it consciously or not. All are seeking a king, and when we let Christ reign as King of our hearts, we give them a glimpse of the True King, and the Kingdom of God which their hearts are longing for.
UPDATE: Father Z has a “PODCAzT” that includes commentary on Christ the King. He notes that this day should prompt us to think anew about the Lord’s coming, as Advent is upon us.