Our King, our Faith, our Parish

Solemnity and Psalm
The Solemnity of Christ the King always brings to my mind Psalm 8, and I can’t help but wonder about our King.

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place—
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and a son of man that you care for him?

The psalm goes on to wonder about what has been given to mankind. The nature of Christ the King goes against mankind’s understanding of what makes a ruler; authority must have power and that power must be used if a monarch is to survive. So what makes up this/our King?

Many Paths to the one who is finding us
Yesterday, I was watching the Rite of Acceptance from the Vatican.  Pope Francis spoke to the catechumens about the inclusiveness of the Church.  He spoke of the many different paths that make up that group and how they were a representation of the even greater variety of journeys that make their way to the gate of faith.  Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King and with it we celebrate the openness of our King.  Our King doesn’t use His power to rule, He doesn’t impose His will at all. He is not one who gives limited access, indeed no one needs to go to Him – He comes to us.

In his 1982 book ‘Seeking God’s Face’ the then Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of the idea of kingship: ‘He has no rigid plan that he has at all costs to carry out.  On the contrary, he has many different ways of seeking man out and finding him. He even makes man’s devious and wrong ways into ways leading to him…This, then, is God’s kingship – a rule of love that seeks and finds man in ways that are always new.’ He continued with ‘The feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those are who subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the one who writes straight on crooked lines.

Realization and answer
What a relief, what a joy, the absolute monarch, the King of universe, looks directly into each of us.  He gives us His absolute attention and guides us on our journey – He is the Father who constantly is looking for us, we are His Prodigal Sons & Daughters; we only need to keep close and not push away.  The answer to the question ‘what makes up our King?’ is simple – Love.  Christ proclaimed this at His nativity, being born into mankind; at His baptism coming among us as a fellow sinner though He never sinned; and of course by His passion and death, offering Himself for us.

Our response
Today, is also the end of the Year of Faith; after Vespers we take down the banner. After Vespers we also take down the banners celebrating the Jubilee of St. Dominic Parish – the journey continues.  What are we to make of these three celebrations: our King; our Faith; our Parish?

As we enter into this next 50 years as a parish, let us take the confidence that our faith has given us about our King – that He is always with us, can always be found, never tires of forgiving; that He rules over us with love. Let us celebrate our king who allows, in fact uses, any and every action by us to help us in our journey.  But most importantly; let us take this and proclaim it to world. In our small ways we can make real the last verse in Psalm 8: ‘O Lord, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth!

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