Nov. 22, 2015: The Christ the King B (34th Sunday)
Click to hear Audio Homily
Have you ever been called to be a part of a cause that’s much bigger than yourself? Participating in a race for the cure for cancer or raising money for the Catholic school comes to mind. When we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, we Christians, without realizing it pray that we take up the call that God desires for us. Listen to these words, ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.’ Deep down we all long to touch the glory of God’s kingdom, and our great gift from God is that He has “hardwired” us for that glory. Yet sometimes we put aside that great gift in favor of something far less important as we heard in today’s Gospel.
“Are you the King of the Jews?” Pontius Pilate asked Jesus. Pilate was puzzled because there was a mob clamoring for Jesus’ death. Jesus replied, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
As we listened in to this exchange between Pilate and Jesus, we were not passive bystanders. We are invited to reflect, whether today, we stand on the side of the mob who is deaf to the call from Jesus to join Him in the building of God’s Kingdom. Sometimes our natural inclination, is toward a narrower vision of life, such as having a goal just to live for oneself. We may say to ourselves, ‘What’s the use of participating in such a bigger cause when what I do will not make any difference?’
When our vision of life narrows, we need to step back and ask the following questions: What is our work in this world all about? Why do we do what we do? What values should govern our choices?
We need to remember that our vision largely controls our perception. You heard the saying, “If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.” If we think the world is a bleak place, full of evil, greedy, selfish people who have no love for God or each other, and what I’ll do will make no difference, that’s what we will see when we look around. If we believe that Jesus is our King who baptized us and equipped us to bring light into the world by the power of His love, then we see the world as an opportunity to be instruments to plant seeds in the hearts of people who are are longing for a deeper relationship with God. Jesus is a leader with ambitious plans: “I want to overcome all the evils which beset humankind.” He poses a challenge: “Whoever wishes to join me in this undertaking must be content with the same food, drink, and clothing, that comes with following me.”
As we end this liturgical year we are left with a challenge. To what extent have we allowed Christ to become King of my life, to reign in my heart? Can I declare with St Bernard of Clairvaux: “I will have no other King but the Lord Jesus, for he alone is my King and my God”? Or are our hearts divided? We are called to be sharers in the Kingdom and co-workers of Christ; his mission should be our mission, his truth must be our truth for it is only then are we truly children of God and servants of Christ the universal King. Let’s change our vision so that we look for the good in everything, expecting to find it.