I have been reading a book entitled "Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails, How Abraham Lincoln Used the telegraph to Win the Civil War". It is a great little book about a great man, a great leader, and a real hero who gave his live for our country. I look forward to seeing the movie on him which is about to released. Today we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe the greatest man who ever lived, the greatest of leaders who gave his life by standing up for the Truth. Lincoln died because he would not back off from his belief that slavery is wrong and Jesus died because he was not willing to back off from what he knew was the Truth.
There is an account of a black woman who was waiting in line with her little son as the body of Abraham Lincoln lay in state in Columbus, Ohio for mourners to pay their tribute. As the story goes, she lifted up her little son and said in a hushed voice, "Hurry, take a long, long look. He died for us to give us freedom from slavery".
Today's gospel gives us the same advise, presenting the trial scene of Christ our King who was willing to die rather than back off on any of his teaching of how we are to live and how the Jewish authoritarian religion needed to change in order to make it a religion of love rather than a religion of man-made laws and fear. Doesn't that sound like the changes we have made from that which most of us had lived in the Vatican Roman Catholic Church?
The parallel and contrasts between Lincoln and Jesus includes many other things such as how they accomplished their goals through people. Lincoln's leaders, his generals, were more educated than those Jesus chose. When Lincoln's generals didn't measure up, he weeded them out. In contrast Jesus, for his purpose, for the most part chose raw recruits and developed them into a team which formed the base of a movement which has lasted over 2000 years. Amazing results by an amazing man!
Where does that leave us or what does that mean to us? Just as Jesus did with his apostles most of whom were raw recruits. He molded them little by little into an asset for his work. He uses a similar "modus operinde" today. He doesn't care if we are "raw recruits", highly educated or not highly educated or not educated at all, old or young, rich or poor, Democrat or Republication, conservative or liberal, fantastic saint or great sinner. He will accept us all as we are and he provides us what we need to be his hands, feet and voice here and now to create His Kingdom here on earth in our family, our parish JOS, and in our community. He calls each of us to follow him just as he did James, John, Philip, Peter and Paul. He calls each of us to accept him as the King of our Universe by following the one major law that he lived, namely "The Law of Love." How did he say it? "Love one another as I have loved you". We show that love and that he is the King of our individual universe by listening to him, loving him, and serving him by following his example.