Homily Ė Christ the King
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be Done. Are those words that just role off our lips every Sunday and occasionally on weekdays, Or, are they in fact the true desire of our hearts? This is a question each and everyone of us has to answer. We were created with free will and only we can decide who we will have as our King.
In our hearts everyone of us has a throne. On this throne sits a ruler to whom we must all answer to. Our every action is guided and decided by the will of our King. That King can only be one of two people: Christ the King or yourself. Each one of us is faced with a fundamental choice and that choice is: Thy will be done or it is: My will be done. Whom do you serve: Jesus Christ or Yourself? Who is master of your life: Jesus Christ or yourself?
Todayís scriptures tell us that in fact Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. All peoples, nations and languages serve him. His Kingship will not be destroyed. Can we say the same of ours? If the King of our Hearts is Jesus Christ then we can.
Each of us has a choice. That is what free will is. Whom will we serve? Whose will do we want? Christís will or ours? We were created for one reality and that is to know, love and serve God in this life and spend eternity in heaven. We can live according to that reality or we can rebel against it. Let me give you an example of each.
When God created the world, the heavens and all creatures he created one angel above them all. One angel more excellent than all the others, more intelligent, more beautiful than all the others and God named him Lucifer which means the bringer of light. This angel, at the moment of his creation, looked upon himself and saw the beauty and the intelligence and was fascinated by it. He said I will not serve, I must be the master and he rebelled against God and determined to wage war against him for all eternity.
This angel appeared to the woman Eve in a garden and asked her to disobey God. She saw the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil and she wanted to be its master. She wanted to decide what is right and wrong. So she reached for the fruit and she took it. She rebelled against God and she convinced Adam to do the same. They decided who would sit on the throne of their hearts, and all hell broke loose. We suffer today because of that decision.
Thousands of years later another Angel appeared to another lowly woman with an offer: Hail full of Grace. Would she like to be part of Godís plan and bear his son. This handmaid didnít know how it was possible since she consecrated herself to God from a young age. But Gabriel told her the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive and bear a son: God is with us. She didnít understand. She didnít need to. Godís messenger was speaking, and that was good enough for her. Let it be done unto me according to thy word, she responded. Through her yes to God she bore a son that would conquer death and restore order. Hell was loose no longer. We were free to choose again.
It seems an easy choice for us to make. If we let Christ rule in our hearts then salvation, happiness and paradise follow. Then why is it so tough in real life? Why is it tough to trust? Why are we afraid? We are afraid that if we do it Godís way then we wonít be happy. That is the voice of Satan whispering lies in our ears. St. Maximilian Kolbe said, ďLucifer is so clever he can blind any man.Ē Godís plan for us is one for our complete happiness. Listen to what it says in Godís word in the book of Jeremiah.
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD,
When Christ is king of your life then you will indeed see Godís plans for your welfare unfolding. Not necessarily in the big things but in the little signs of love he has for us and shows us everyday if we are willing to see with the eyes of faith. Let me offer you two examples.
When I was in studying Rome I was given a lock of Mother Teresaís hair by a priest who works for the Congregation for the causes of Saints. Relics have not been a large part of my spirituality but I was very touched and I decided to give it to Bishop Carlson to use for the Diocese. In the course of moving home from the seminary I lost track of where I was keeping it. I looked for it for three months and couldnít find it. My room is still recovering. Recently I tried again because I wanted to take it with me to a familyís house to pray for one of their family.. I thought we would ask for a miracle. I knew one would be granted even if it wasnít what we hoped for or even if we didnít recognize it. I searched again and was unsuccessful. Finally I said to the Lord: ďLord if itís your will that we use this then please let me find it.Ē And then I let it go.
Later that week I was eating at HyVee and someone came up to me and our conversation got me thinking about beauty. I have always enjoyed the topic and went back to the office to look up something in a book I had on beauty. Upon opening that book it fell open to a page where the Lock of Mother Teresaís hair was. I immediately saw Godís hand moving and guiding the course of events. I went to the familyís home, told them the story and we prayed for the miracle. Right after we came down from praying the whole room was flooded with sunlight. One of the family members commented on that happening right after we prayed (it had be cloudy for days). I told them that is no coincidence. That even if we didnít receive exactly what we hoped for God was showing us his love. In the midst of difficult situations God is moving even if we donít see it. So we should trust in God and his plan for our lives. I went back to the office and I walked in and the ladies said ďFather look what we just got.Ē They pulled out a beautiful framed picture of Mother Teresa. The hand of God is in our lives if we allow it to be and if we allow Christ to be the Lord of our lives we see his hand moving. Maybe some of you think all these are just coincidences. I pity you if that is the case. It must be a dark and dreary world you live in full of sadness and despair. But Lucifer can blind any man and he wouldnít want you to see the hand of God moving because then you would not doubt. He wants you to doubt.
A second example. While I was in Rome, before I left, I bought a bunch of St. Michaels medals to bring back. Both my brothers are police officers and St. Michael is the patron saint of police officers. I had them blessed by the Pope. I brought enough for every member of their department and every member of the Sioux Falls Police Department who wanted one. If you know someone in the Sheriff, Police or Highway Patrol let them know I have them. Word got out and people started coming by the office to pick them up. I wanted to meet them and thank them for what they do.
A few weeks after I gave one to one man, he was in a terrible accident. I received a call from his wife, letting me know of the situation and thanking me for the medal, and saying it meant a lot to him. I asked if I could visit him and she told me how. I visited him and he lit up when I came into the room. He said, ďFather have I got a story to tell you.Ē He proceeded to tell me of the accident. He said in the course of the accident everything was ripped from his body. His clothes where shredded, his rings and watch were torn off. He said the only thing left on him was a thin gold chain that had his crucifix and his St. Michaels Medal attached. He said he had a half hour laying there waiting for the rescue workers with just him and God and it was a profound experience that changed his life. His wife and daughter are convinced that the medal and crucifix are the only reason he is alive and they insisted he keep it on during his surgeryís. St. Michael the Archangel, Defend us in Battle, Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. Do you still believe God and his heavenly host donít take their Lordship seriously?
We have a choice about who sits on the thrones of our hearts. We canít have them rule some parts of our lives and not others. The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of all or not at all. You get to decide. Will you surrender the sovereignty of your heart to him or will you be the king of your heart. The Kingdom of Christ is a Kingdom of Faith, Hope and Love. There is no room in that kingdom for Doubt, Despair or Hate. Even in the midst of lifeís terrible tragedies you can see Godís hand moving if you are willing to let him be the Lord of your life. If you choose to be the Lord of your life then in the midst of lifeís terrible tragedies you will see your hand moving.
If your life is full of doubt, despair, hate, fear. If it is dark and dreary then I suggest to you that you have a regime change in your heart. Surrender your life to Christ and let him be the Lord of your entire life. Of every aspect of your life, not just one hour on Sundayís. His yoke is easy, his burden light. His plans are for your welfare and complete happiness. I can tell you that my experience is I have never regretted the choice I make for Christ each morning. I donít think you would either. Itís not a magic, happy pill but it is a life of beauty and of peace. Perhaps you doubt him. Lucifer can make any man blind. Perhaps you think you can do better. That choice is yours to make. You get to choose who will sit on the throne of your heart. Choose well.