As Father Frank knows, I personally don’t believe a homily should promote a specific political issue unless the issue addresses a specific teaching of Jesus. However there frequently are times when a story in scripture has a parallel in current events and I believe there is one today.
How many of us are happy that the current election is finally over. Each one of us had the opportunity to vote and I hope we all exercised that right. This sure was a critical election and as the media keeps telling us, many are unhappy with the result but it appears that results will stand. As is always true we will be able to tell if we chose the right person after that person chosen, produces satisfactory results thereby showing that we have chosen correctly. Only time will tell.
Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King and each of us has a chance to vote for or against Jesus as our King everyday by how we follow the truths he has given us. If you and I lived 2000 years ago would you or I have chosen Jesus as our King, when he was a baby, or a young adult, or during his public life, or at his crucifixion, or even when he rose from the dead?
Back then, very few would have seen him as he is depicted in an immense mosaic, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC which is entitled “Christ in Majesty”. In it Jesus is portrayed with towering strength flexing a muscular right arm. Even the inscription below it reads, “Christ reigns, Christ rules, Eternal Victor, Eternal King”. That is a totally different image then described in today’s gospel as he is being murdered as a common criminal. Seeing that Jesus as Christ the King of the Universe, King of the Cosmos would be all but unthinkable but yet looking back at his example and message before he died and after he rose from the dead, it is difficult to recognize Jesus as anyone other than the King the Universe.
How did we, as a people change from accepting Jesus as a mere human to accepting him as the King of the Cosmos as the mosaic in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC depicts? It wasn’t by our vote but many books have been written by many learned people to answer that question but a brief comparison of how world leaders of today operate and how Jesus operated and continues to operate might be a start.
Today’s world leaders use powerful armies, authoritarian dictates or other pressures to convince people to follow them. In contrast Jesus didn’t use any of those things but rather used and continues to use, love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness to lead us to follow his teachings and his approach has been successful, continues to be successful and he desires that each of us follow his lead.
So today let’s celebrate his success as King of the Cosmos, and do our best follow his lead by not just “Loving our neighbor as ours selves but loving our neighbor as Jesus loves us.”