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Christ the King Sunday

CHRIST THE KING SUNDAY, CYCLE B
Daniel 7: 13-14 + Psalm 93: 1-2,5 + Revelation 1: 5-8 + John 18: 33-37
Holy Spirit Catholic Church: November 21, 2021

The reason the Son of God comes into this world
is to testify to the truth of divine love.
The reason the Son of God is born of Mary, lives and dies,
is to reveal the truth of divine love over and over and over again.

Jesus’ sole reason for being is to testify to the truth that God is love
and that those who abide in love, abide in God and God in them.
Those who belong to this truth, who acknowledge this truth, are able to hear
his voice, while the Pilates of this world scoff at the notion that God is love.
By his words and his deeds, Jesus reveals that forgiveness and mercy are
the most normal and powerful ways that God loves us.

Jesus lives and dies to reveal the truest, deepest identity of every human being—that each person is a child of God, created out of love and made for love.
Therefore, Jesus comes to establish a “Kin-dom” where we all can live together
as brothers and sisters of one family rooted in God.

You heard me right when I said “Kin-dom” and not “kingdom”.
I believe we have to find new words to express more fully the radical reality
Jesus initiates by his life, death, and resurrection.
After all, our nation was formed by rejecting the whole idea of allegiance to a king. In addition, many people are like Pilate in their desire to impose on Jesus
their idea of what he should be as king and what his kingdom should look like, especially regarding who is in and who is out.
Those values are often directly opposed to the truth Jesus reveals
about God’s persistent, never-go-away love affair with humanity.

Jesus testifies to the truth that God Our Father created us out of love
and made us to receive and share love.
As the Son of God who comes to save us who have turned away from God’s love, Jesus witnesses to truth that God will even give His life for us to bring us home.
The Spirit of love uniting Father and Son has been poured out onto this world and into the hearts of believers, the Spirit whose love unites us as brothers and sisters of the Son, sons and daughters of the Father, one family in God.

In order to live always from the truth of God’s love for us, we have to acknowledge that sometimes we live by the lies of the kingdom of this World, instead of living from the truth of Jesus’ Kin-dom.
We need to expose these lies of the kingdom of the world
and embrace more fully the truths of Jesus’ Kin-dom.

Too many people today seek to have power over others, like Pilate.
Too many place all their hopes in the big lie that political power
will bring meaning to life, as one’s political party then takes the place of God
as the most important thing in life.
Then anything which challenges the values of the power of one’s party is rejected, even if those values are based in the Kin-dom of God.
Those ensnared in this lie place their value, their innate God-given value,
into the hands of their political party.

In the Kin-dom of Christ, being “over” others, being the ones in “power”,
is not the goal of life on this earth. Rather, being of service to others is.
What members of the “Kin-dom” give witness to by their lives of humble service is the truth that washing feet, loving the lowly and discarded of this world,
is the way to go deeper into God’s heart and into the heart of happiness.

The kingdom of this world pushes the lie that wealth is where it’s at,
that seeking to have more and more money and more and more things
is the way to happiness.
But for those who live by this lie, enough is never enough.
There is an insatiable hunger for more and more and more,
which can never be satisfied.

In the “Kin-dom” which Jesus establishes, the human person
is always more important than things, the God-given dignity of the human being can never be subjugated to the “almighty dollar”,
profit cannot take precedence over the person.
The dad who values things more than people will be furious with his son
who wrecked his dad’s car and will allow his anger to fester and grow, while
the dad who testifies to the truth that people are more important than things
will be more relieved than upset because his son survived the accident.

Those who serve the kingdom of this world place a high value on honor—
they seek to be liked, approved of, esteemed by others.

They place their value into the hands of others,
their value is found in what others think of them.

The truth Jesus reveals is that are identity comes not from what we do
or what others think about us, but from who we are as God’s adopted children.
So those who are citizens of the “Kin-dom” of God do not fear being hated or persecuted by others for doing the right thing, because they know who they are.

The kingdom of this world values pleasure
and promotes the vain pursuit of pleasure.
Those who seek only to “feel good” take care of their basest desires
at the expense of others.
Or worse, they use others as objects for their pleasure.
Thus, the scourge of pornography and its hold on human hearts today.

In the ‘Kin-dom” of God, sacrificial love is the way to happiness.
Any pleasure, any joy, is simply a by-product of living one’s life for others,
of giving one’s life away in love of others.
This kind of loving is not “feel good” loving but a decision to treat the other
with respect and kindness even when we do not feel like doing so.

The kingdom of this world promotes the lie that the pursuit of power, wealth, honor and pleasure will being happiness and meaning to one’s life.
For those who are members of the “Kin-dom” of God, the truth is that service, generosity, humility, and sacrificial love lead to true joy.

When we reach out to the least, the last, and the lost, we reveal God’s love strengthening the “Kin-dom”.
When we welcome the stranger, we show that Christ rules our hearts.
When we transform unjust systems, when we oppose anything which belittles
the dignity of the human person or tries to destroy human life, Christ’s rule becomes more evident.

The Holy Spirit within us and among us keeps prodding us
to enlarge the circle of love, to include more and more people within our care.
The love that we know in Christ also extends beyond human communities;
it embraces all beings on earth, our other-than-human kin.
We all share a common home which we are called to love without reserve,
to care for and protect as if our very lives depended on it, for they do.

The victory of love has already been won by Christ Jesus
from the throne of the cross.
We live in an in-between time, in the “now” of Christ’s victory
and the “not-yet” of the fullness of his reign.
But we are able to persevere in loving God, loving neighbor,
loving all God’s creatures and the earth God has created,
because we know that Christ will eventually rule over all,
that love cannot be destroyed, that life in God is what lasts.

From the throne of the cross, Jesus rules over the entire world.
He stretches out his arms to embrace all people of all places and all times,
sinners and saints, the just and the unjust,
in a never-ending embrace of love.

Fr. Joseph A. Jacobi