Hearts sing of Christ our King
Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’. (Mt 9:13)
For several days I’ve had a longing for this day of Christ the King. Homilies online, those preached in mass, those shared by people who have attended other masses…nothing seemed to really address what this means, that Christ is our King. My King. Intellectually sensible, doctrinally correct, but where is the heart in it all? The relationship?
For Jesus, God, to share our humanity is special. God already knows our pain and suffering. But for me to know He’s suffered like me makes Him approachable. We have a shared experience. I can better trust Him. I can more easily hold onto that seed of belief He’s planted in me and wants to grow. This relationship can ‘go somewhere’.
But with all that said, it’s His divinity that makes the relationship what it is. One based in perfect unconditional love that lifts us up out of our brokenness into His arms. The King of all creation, our Divine Providence. So the Church gives us a special day to celebrate the King of Mercy. “On this day you will be with me in paradise” He told the good thief. (Luke 23:43). Well, here we are.
This day, every day, can be a taste of paradise in Him.
And as I talked with Him about this, my phone buzzed with a texted praise report of answered prayers in a difficult relationship. God is working in so many people’s lives right now. He has a special affection for those suffering, like what a parent feels when their child cries those huge alligator tears. It comes from a special space in His heart. And we all have a little of that in our hearts too, made in His image. It comes out of a space of which we have no control. How many of our waking moments are spent suppressing it or avoiding it, afraid to let it surface? It may be fear of rejection, but our King’s love for us is rejected over and over again by us. And He still continues to love us. Constantly.
“It would mean very little, however, if we believed Jesus was King of the universe, but did not make him Lord of our lives: all this is empty if we do not personally accept Jesus and if we do not also accept his way of being King.” (Pope Francis)
What do we do with the Mercy He has brought into our life? Mercy from the King of our Heart. It must be returned to Him. We do that by giving it to others. It is then that we see Christ in them.
All these answered prayers, the glimmers of knowledge He lets us see, are simply the tip of the iceberg. There is so much work He is doing in the hearts of many that we cannot see. He gives us these moments to renew our Hope, His way of saying “don’t worry, I really am taking care of it”. How can our hearts not sing with gratitude this Thanksgiving?
Include in that song of gratitude your thanks for the Priests who bring Jesus to us in the Sacraments and continue to pray for the worldwide church.
One whom God loves never passes away. It is not just a shadow of ourselves that lives on in Him, in His thought, and in His love; rather, it is in Him, as His creative love that we are preserved forever immortal in the totality and truth of our being. It is His love that makes us immortal and this immortality, this abiding love is what we call “heaven.”
Heaven, then, is none other than the certainty that God is great enough to have room even for us insignificant mortals. Nothing that we treasure or value will be destroyed. As we ponder all this, let us ask the Lord on this day to open our eyes ever more fully to it; to make us not only people of faith but also people of hope, who do not look to the past but rather build for today and tomorrow a world that is open to God.
Let us ask Him to make us who believe happy individuals who, amid the stress of daily living, catch a glimpse of the beauty of the world to come and who live, believe, and Hope in this certainty! [Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)]
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊
Image: Christ the King Melkite by John Stephen Dwyer via Wikimedia Commons
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