On this final Sunday of the liturgical year we celebrate Christ the King of the Universe. It is a recent feast started in 1925 to emphasize that Christ is the center of the world not fascism or communism or politics or anything else popular in those days, which brought only death to millions of people.
We hear of the anointing of David as king of Israel and this can remind us that you and I have also been anointed in Baptism to be priest, prophet and king. Not king of the mountain but king of ourselves, having dominion over our passions so we can serve those around us as Christ did. This image of king is present in Eastern Rite weddings where the couple wears a crown expressing their dominion over themselves and their house or one bedroom apartment, and enter a sacrament where they can be fruitful and multiply. It is God who chooses the kings of Israel and he is the one who chooses us; the fact that you are here means that you have been chosen. You are called to be like David who united the tribes of Israel together, as we hope to unite everyone in the parish to fuse with the Head of the Church, who is Christ.
There is a reading in the Proverbs 8 that speaks of Christ centuries before he became man saying: I was beside the master craftsman delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence and everywhere on earth delighting to be with the children of men. It originally spoke of Wisdom as a person but we can see how it is fulfilled in Christ who is the center of all creation as St. Paul says in his letter to the Colossians.
His letter to the Colossians is very colossal. It speaks of Christ and that without him we know nothing of life, or death or of God or of ourselves. Paul is very emphatic in this hymn: He is the image…in him all were created…all was created through him and for him…and he holds all things together. He is the head of the body, the Church. He is the beginning…that all might be preeminent in him…through him all things were reconciled by his blood.
Wow, Christ is the center of all and ought to be my center as well. He holds all things together not just physically but mentally, psychologically, emotionally not just for us but for the whole cosmos. Three or four young people in my community have cancer, some rather serious, and I was thinking the other day that none of them are falling apart or freaking out. Somehow because they are close to Christ (for sure they are not perfect) they are not devastated by these events. They take it in stride and they see very clearly how God is helping them. You see it is only Christ who can bring all things together and hold them in place, even if the worst things happen. How many people can say that today?
Brothers and sisters, it is the thieves at the crucifixion who announce Jesus, first, as the Christ, the anointed one, and second as King. It was the good thief who saw that this man had a kingdom and he wanted to be part of it. Even a thief was the saved, and was the first man in heaven. On this feast let us not be afraid to commit ourselves to serve in some way in the parish and through this service acknowledge the greatness of God and how he should be more decidedly first in my life.