Faithful and True is our King of Kings
Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was called “Faithful and True.” He wore a cloak that had been dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God. He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
–Revelations 19:11, 13, 16
The world is in chaos. The country is a mess. Within the Church divisions have solidified. In some minds, what appears to be an absence of God becomes false rationale to prove there is no God.
Yet all of this sets the stage for God’s glory to shine. Adverse reactions from vaccination and RSV from mask-wearing bring opportunity for God to work miracles; we simply need to ask. Media-driven fear and anxiety shine a spotlight on pre-existing wounds that need Divine healing. During lockdowns, the extreme desire of kids to be away from parents and siblings at home and, instead, to be with schoolmates and teachers illuminates the loss of true familial relationships within families. While society offers some remedies, it is only through the Church that families can be restored and healed.
While it may appear God is missing in the world today, perhaps it is truer that we simply do not recognize Him.
To the clean all things are clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is clean; in fact, both their minds and their consciences are tainted. They claim to know God, but by their deeds they deny him.
The Internet continues to grow as well-intended Christians speak falsehoods, promote narratives, accuse one another, spread sensationalism, and even promote schism. Yet it is only in knowing Truth that we know Jesus, who is the truth, the way, and the life (John 8:12). The extent to which we love truth, we love Him. Too many of His people speak His Words but do not love Him. They use His teachings to orchestrate outcomes to their own benefit, intrigue people with sensationalism, or soothe emotions. We must be leery of anyone who claims to speak on His behalf but is not glorifying Him in doing so.
My child, if you have sinned, do so no more, and for your past sins pray to be forgiven. Flee from sin as from a serpent that will bite you if you go near it.
Repentance always begins at home in our own heart. Repentance for sin is an appeal to the mystery of God’s creative power. As repentance is truth, it is a return of truth to Truth. By embracing His truth we are able to see ourselves with His loving eyes and can understand that sin offends Him by its harm done to us who are made in His image. He is the living God who forgives; ours is a lived faith through which we repent. Together manifests the mystery of a holy life.
This brings us to Christ the King. Our Savior is King over the entire cosmos, and all of creation must obey Him. Our Father has given to Him all responsibility to judge the righteous from the sinful. No thought or deed, whether good or evil, is unknown to Him. We should take heart in knowing that He is our God, and we are His beloved. His mercy and justice will always prevail.
Rather than being an end in themselves, the challenges we encounter are our means to Heaven. But these will only have meaning if lived in His light with Heaven in mind. The answer, then, lies in our relationship with our Triune God. Allowing ourselves to be brought by the Spirit into the never ending love of the Father and the Son heals and forms us to think and love like God. This is how discernment is developed, Truth is recognized, and Love willed to be embraced.
Growth in relationship involves not only repentance but also forgiveness. Sadly, depression and suicide peak during the holidays as the anticipated engagement with family members (or rejection of that) triggers wounds and unforgiveness on all sides. Important but often overlooked, we must also forgive ourselves for our failings. The fear of facing these presents a major obstacle in receiving God’s love. One step-by-step approach to praying forgiveness is explained in Forgiveness: Untying the Knots. True and full forgiveness is an outcome of love and takes place in the heart. It isn’t an act or action; it is a process. The healing which underlies this isn’t always warm and fuzzy. God’s grace is often delivered through a trial, just as transforming coal into diamonds is a process. But He patiently waits for us to begin that process by taking the first step: prayer.
My little children, your hearts are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us.
–Saint John Vianney
Through honest prayer and repentance, coupled with the grace of Eucharist and Confession, God sanctifies us little by little. The saints say He imprints His intellect on ours and forms our heart to be His own. Like Paul, we can say “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Our prayers for the world become more efficacious because the Father sees His Beloved Son in us. We spiritually, literally, become ‘little Christs’ going about our ordinary day while His Spirit within us touches the souls around us. Each of those souls has been created with an innate desire for Him, usually seeking to fulfill this desire in man-made ways. We simply need to bring His presence to them, and trust He is working imperceptibly through us.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls.
Let us endeavor to maintain His presence within us through Sacraments and prayer, forgiveness and self-examination, and self-denial of our attachments to ideologies, social media personalities, visionaries, and narratives. We must desire Him more than these. Come to personally know our King of Kings whose name is Faithful and True.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.
(Image by Robert Nyman Unsplash)
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