Happy Feast of Christ Our King! It the patronal feast of our parish. Every feast of Jesus tells us something about him - and something about us. Jesus is King. He is the universal King. As Saint Paul tells us in his beautiful Letter to the Philippians, “God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We happily proclaim the Lordship of Jesus as we await his return in joyful hope. In the meantime, he has entrusted us with the work of building up his Kingdom which is, as we hear in the Preface of today’s Mass, “a Kingdom of truth and life, a Kingdom of holiness and grace, a Kingdom of justice, love and peace.” We have our work cut out for us. May all of us who acknowledge Jesus as Lord and King submit ourselves to his rule over our lives. Let pray with fervor, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.”
Next weekend a new Year of Grace begins with the First Sunday of Advent. The world begins the celebration of Christmas earlier and earlier every year. Many people, by the time December 25 actually arrives, are already tired of Christmas. The Church offers us a season of preparation which is Advent and a season of celebration which is the Christmas season. We anticipate Christmas, as we should, during the four weeks of Advent, but it is not yet Christmas.
We have work to do to prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world. John the Baptist, one of the key figures of this beautiful season, tells us to prepare the way. We prepare the way by putting things right in our lives. One of the ways in which we can do this is by including the following three practices in our Advent preparation:
• Faithful participation at Sunday Mass each Sunday of Advent;
• Celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
• An hour of Adoration on one of the four Sundays of Advent.
The weeks of Advent will pass quickly. Let us use them well to prepare for the celebration of the birth of the King of kings. Christmas is coming - but not yet!
See you at Mass!