Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

"Christ the King" Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2015

“Christ the King” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2015

Dear Followers of Christ the King,

Today we celebrate Christ, the King of the Universe. This is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. We believe that all of life will culminate in Christ Jesus. We belong to Christ, no matter who we are or in what circumstances we find our lives.

Christ the King is not about our earthly notions of a king, who yields grand authority over other people or who is distant and removed from daily life. In fact, Jesus is the complete opposite of our fairytale notion of a king, or our images of royalty from a distant land.

Jesus is our Savior. Jesus is our King because he suffered with us, not worked against us. He entered into human life with great humility and purpose. He bore the weight of our sin and our stubbornness. Jesus embraced lepers, kissed the feet of the weary, touched the eyes of the blind, and healed the deaf ear. Jesus is the source and reason for our lives. In his passion, death, and resurrection we find our home.

We celebrate with joy, because he became poor for our sake. He taught us how to befriend the sinner, the outcast and the lost. We follow in his steps; not a path to a glorious throne, but through the nitty gritty of life, in the trenches of human foibles, in the darkness of sin, in our excruciating pain, in our family quarrels.

In my painting above, we see that Christ the King received the crown of heaven because he wore the thorns of death on earth. He gave himself for us so that we may empty our pride and start living for other people. Christ the King takes us by the hand and leads us into eternal glory, even when we think we are not worth the effort.

Pray this litany with a heart for the King, Jesus the Christ.

Response: Jesus, Christ our King, lead us into your Light.

When I am tired because nothing ever works out for me…

When I am lost from searching and never finding…

When I am confused about what tomorrow may bring…

When I am fearful of being truly known by others…

When I am worried that I cannot live up to what the Church teaches…

When I feel lost because of my sinful past…

When I feel I cannot measure up to those sitting next to me in the pew…

When I feel terrified that I am known by only my past…

When I feel I am never really forgiven by the Church…

When I feel I am alone in my doubt…

When I sense the world cannot accept me…

When I sense the Church can never accept or love me…

When I sense that I simply do not fit in with others…

When I sense that I cannot change in the ways others wish I could…

When I sense that my decisions are not what God had in store for me…

When questions haunt me about how my children will care for me…

When questions about my spouse’s infidelity haunt me…

When questions about my sexuality confuse me…

When questions about my marriage overwhelm me…

When questions about my affairs torment my ability to stay with my family…

When my image of God is so narrow and judgmental…

When my image of God oppresses me…

When my image of God becomes so confined and condemning of others…

When my image of God has not changed since the second grade…

When my image of God curtails my understanding of the world around me…

When prayer becomes only rote and sarcastic…

When prayer becomes about rules, regulations and routine…

When prayer becomes more about myself than about God and other people…

When prayer becomes self-righteous and judgmental about people’s lives…

When prayer becomes a form of hiding my true self…

When I forget that our King sought out sinners and prostitutes…

When I forget that our King dined with people on the margins of society…

When I forget that our King ran after the lost sheep…

When I forget that our King was born in a cave and his life threatened…

When I forget that our King was whipped, scourged and put to death…

When I finally give myself, my complete self, to Jesus…

When I finally realize that I cannot live by my own power and control…

When I finally become aware I cannot change my past…

When I finally understand within my heart of hearts that Jesus loves me…

When I finally love as Jesus loves…

Blessings to you,

Fr. Ron

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