…..from your Pastor’s Desk:
When we read today’s Gospel, we see that Jesus is called King of the Jews. His style of kingship is not what anyone was expecting. The first thing that a king must have if he is to continue as king is some kind of power. Jesus actually chooses to seem helpless and to allow himself to be ridiculed and despised. This surely does not sound like a king with any power.
The teaching in the Gospels is absolutely clear: If you want to be first, then be the last. If you want to have power, then become the servant of all others. The Solemnity of Christ the King is not about power or about being first–no, it is about doing the will of the Father. Today’s challenge is not for Christians to take on power and prestige. Today’s challenge is about Christians believing and being willing to suffer for their beliefs.
As Americans we bend the knee to no one except Jesus in the True Presence of The Blessed Sacrament. We are not very familiar with actual living kings because kings and queens have mostly disappeared. Those that remain are no longer kings and queens with any absolute power. Most are constitutional monarchs. It doesn’t really matter, because the image of the king is simply the image of a very powerful person who is able to unite a people. In that sense, a president today could also be seen as a king. In the tradition of the Old Testament, of course, kings are anointed. They have a mission from God. Our presidents today are not anointed but almost always we expect them to be saviors. That’s not their job and we already have Our Savior.
Perhaps we could spend time today reflecting that in Christ the King we have the reconciliation of all things, according to the Second Reading from the Letter to the Colossians. We are invited to die to ourselves today and to allow the world to be reconciled in us. This can only happen when we are able truly to forgive everyone who has ever harmed us or caused us problems.
Forgive and you shall be forgiven. Be at peace and you will bring reconciliation. Take up the Cross so that you may share the Resurrection.
………….from your Pastor’s Desk two, [too] !
This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a favorite holiday as family and friends gather to eat turkey and pumpkin pie, and maybe watch some football. Inevitably on that day someone will ask. “So-what are you thankful for?”
And the usual answers will be offered. Family, health, friends, parish, faith, job, country and the like. Same, same. It does not mean we don’t mean them-it’s more that we just don’t think about adding or subtracting much from the list during the rest of the year. So it is good to ask ourselves-how do we show thanks for them? And how do we show thanks to God for everything?
Sometimes instead of being thankful for what we have, for the gifts from God, we look around to see what other have. Or worse, we want what they have instead of them having it.
One way to break free of that is to stop, take a breath and say thanks to God. That small prayer of thanksgiving really gives back to the one praying. It helps return focus to God, and to what is really important. And especially to those people in our lives who are really important-but are often taken for granted. Thanking God for the simple things comes naturally. Thanking the people around us requires a constant effort.
Since my arrival here there is an elderly gentleman who says the exact thing to me as he shakes my hand after every mass he attends. Simply this; “Thank you Father for saying such a beautiful Mass for us.” That always centers me – as a person and as a priest – person. My prayer is for us to make every day Thanksgiving, to be grateful, to say thanks to those around us and to God. And, I also extend an invitation to start a list now so when you are asked on Thanksgiving Day what you are thankful for-you’ll remember the simple things too!
I started mine. I am thankful…for you!