Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King
Readings: 2 Sam 5:1-3; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43
The Year of Faith that began on October 11 2012 ends this Sunday, on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe. The Church has given us wonderful opportunities not only to deepen our faith in Jesus Christ, but also to strengthen our commitment as His disciples. As we look back to the Year of Faith, let us rejoice in the graces received during this Year of Faith. What a year it has been here in our parish! Just think back to the faith and leadership formation programs we have had during the year. Think of the energy generated by our various ministries as members shared their gifts of time, talent and treasure. Several questions that we need to ask are: how do we harvest the fruits of the Year of Faith? How do we keep ablaze the fire of faith generated during this year? What about the impact of all our various faith and leadership programs within and beyond our parish boundaries? These are important questions as we go forward.
As the Year of Faith was beginning last year, a new feature movie was being released with the title: “For Greater Glory”. The movie tells the story of the Mexican Cristero war which broke out in the 1920’s. The government had decided to enforce strict anti-clerical laws that included the banning of: Masses, all sacraments, and wearing of clergy dress in public. Moreover, bishops were forced to leave the country and priests who resisted were imprisoned, tortured and executed. One of the most touching scenes is the execution of Padre Christopher, an old priest, played by Peter O’Toole, as a young boy of 14 watches from hiding. Young José who witnesses that execution (José Luis Sánchez del Río) is fired up to join the Cristero army to fight against the government forces. Jose is captured in a fierce battle, imprisoned and tortured, but each time the government soldiers ask him a question he responds “Viva Crito el Rey” (Long live Christ the King). Those are his last words as he is executed and thrown into a ditch. This inspiring movie touches our faith deeply.
The fruits of the Year of Faith are made concrete in the entire liturgical celebration of the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King. It challenges each of us to ask the question of whether Jesus Christ is truly our king who influences our thinking and actions. In the movie “For Greater Glory” José is deeply convinced that Jesus Christ rules his life. So what message do we take home this Sunday? 1) The Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King challenges each of us to ask serious questions: Is Jesus Christ my “Dominus”, my “Mano”, my “Seigneur”? Whose boots or feet do I kiss? 2) If Jesus Christ is truly the one who rules my life, there is then a further challenge, to give witness; to share my faith with others; to go out in search of those who are lost and bring back them home. Faith will not grow unless it is shared. 3) The fruits harvested during the Year of Faith need to be shared with those who desperately need nourishment; those out there on the margins; those alienated; those absent from our pews. 4) To live our parish motto for the Year of Faith "Set Your Faith Ablaze in the Year of Faith”, we need to scatter after Mass into the parish community and bring the warmth of the good news to those who need it most; those who have grown cold away from the warmth of Mother Church. We can only do this if in the first place we ourselves are on fire. I am Msgr. John Mbinda. God bless you.
©2013 John S. Mbinda