Feast of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
2 Samuel 5:1-3; Ps 122:1-5; Colossians 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43
A blessed and safe Thanksgiving to you, your family and all.
From the time of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804, and the French Revolution, 1789-1799, the world has slowly moved away from its ideas and dependence on God and his plan for us. Some major humans are in control with all their sciences and knowledge. For many in our world today there are no more absolutes. That new philosophy is called relativism where each person is his or her own god. Whatever makes him or her happy no matter who it hurts. They want money, power and control no matter what it takes to get it. These attitudes make any religion passé. This simply is what many in the world want.
Most in the US know we need a change but are unsure as to what changes need to be made. As the leader of the free world, we are turning the corner for a new direction in our government. Praise God, who is going to re-set many things.
Four last things
These last few weeks of our Liturgical (church) year have reminded us a little about the last things: death, judgment, heaven or hell. Most people don’t want to think about their end because they don’t have a clear idea of what life on the other side is like. We shall all face it one day when God removes us from earthly life.
There are a number of scriptural ideas about the after-life, heaven, purgatory or hell. The Book of Revelation tells us of the revelations St. John was given about heaven. I look for those parts and not the destructive passages. If we know and accept Jesus, if we repent of our sins and mistakes to trust and follow Jesus, our Savior, each day, we know we are focused on ending up in heaven. Jesus showed us how to live in his new kingdom, during his public life. Then he took the punishment for our sins during his suffering and death on the cross.
He rose on the third day and appeared to many people over a fifty-day period before he went back to heaven. Then he sent his Holy Spirit to continue to guide our daily lives and future as we try to live in his new kingdom.
Joy for the journey
Our life here on earth can be filled with many joys and many sorrows. Knowing and following Jesus guides us in his kingdom. He gave us his church, prayer and sacraments to feed and bless us on our journey. Studying the “I Am” statements in St. John’s gospel helps us greatly understand that Jesus loves me and wants to daily bless me. He gives us his joy and helps us on our journey toward heaven as Ps 122 tells us today, “I rejoiced because they said to me, ‘We will go up to the house of the Lord.’” As we try to keep our focus on Jesus, the Hebrews letter in 12:2 tells us: “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, Who inspires and perfects our faith.”
Heaven is a wonderful and glorious place where God is enthroned with his Father and the Holy Spirit. Around their thrones are countless angels and saints wrapped in God’s love for all eternity, totally happy. At the ascension Jesus went back to heaven. He got a private place for us there, John 14:3, and (later) “I will come back to take you with Me, so that where I am you also may be.” Amen! We shall be filled with his great joy and get all the answers to all of our questions instantly without studying.
Be not afraid
Some whose souls were out of their body for a period of time and were sent back to tell us not to be afraid, say that there is so much love that flows from Jesus that no earthly words can describe it. St. Matthew in 11:28 tells us, “Come to Me (Jesus) all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you.” And St. Paul tells us: in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Jesus is in heaven yet he is also on earth in most of our churches, chapels and living inside of us since our baptism unless we have thrown him out due to our serious sin. Yet going to him in the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession, he forgives our sins and is restored to us. Our church chooses to end its Liturgical Year with this Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Pope Pius XI instituted this solemnity for the last Sunday of October. It was to show Christ’s dominion over all people and to bring peace to the world. After Vatican Council II, it was moved to this last Sunday before Advent. Let us end this Liturgical Year in joy and increased hope of receiving more of what God has planned for us.
Blessings to you, your family, your ministry, our country and the world.
+ Fr. Bo Hilz
(©2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)