REFLECTION CAPSULE – November 21, 2021: Sunday

“Always saying ‘Yes’ to the King of Hearts – Christ the Crucified King!”

(Based on the Solemnity of Christ the King)

It is said of one of the great Tsars (emperors) of Russia of how he would often visit the people of his kingdom, in disguise.

This was his method of recognizing the welfare and the well-being of his people.

On one occasion, he dressed up in the garment of a peasant (farmer).

He knocked at the door of an inn for a night shelter.

The innkeeper, who opened the door, had a long look at the peasant.

With hands folded, the man was pleading for a place to stay in the inn.

Seeing his shabby clothes and his haggard appearance, the innkeeper began to dismiss him saying:
“Tonight, there are many of the King’s courtiers and noblemen taking lodging in this inn.

You may look for a place somewhere else!”

But as he said this, one of the King’s noblemen, who heard the sound of the peasant man, rushed to the door, and motioned to let him in, saying:
“The dress may be that of a peasant, but the voice is the voice of my lord, the King!”

Very often something similar happens in our lives – God, our King comes to us, in disguise…
… in the supplication of a needy neighbour or a distressed companion
… in the silence of a broken soul or an unhappy relationship
… in the pleading of an oppressed cry or a troubled heart

Do we recognize our King in all these?

Perhaps the word “King” always brings to our minds, images of…
… royal dresses and majestic clothings
… bane arrogance and vain haughtiness
… super-riches and wealthy adornments

But Christianity always comes to break such notions and shatter such worldly conceptions

Are we ready to be the sincere followers of this True and Just King?

The Church today, on this last day of the liturgical year, invites Her children to HAIL this Mighty King – Jesus…
… with the Solemnity of Christ the King!

Today is the Feast of Christ the King.

It is the Last Sunday of the Liturgical year

This feast is a relatively new feast.

It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 through an encyclical letter called “Quas Primas” (In the First)

In the history of the Church, liturgical feasts have been instituted in answer to particular needs that arise in the life of the world & Church.

This Feast of Christ the King was in response to the grave and disturbing situation of the world:

The world in 1925, was still recovering from the devastation effects of the First World War.

Nations had been devastated.
New weapons and armoury had been introduced.

A wave of terror and danger was still vivid.

Modernity had crept into the human mind.

Human reason was considered to have enough power and capability for unlimited progress.

Human societies were abandoning Christian values and sought to do away with divine and spiritual dimensions of life.

It’s at the height of this secularization of the world, that we are presented with this great Feast of Christ the King.

Human progress gives a feeling that humans have absolute power over all forces in the universe.
Scientific technology makes us think that any discoveries and inventions are humanly possible.
Human mind is considered to be having capabilities that can overcome and defy any limitation..

But this feast reminds us, that Christ still reigns above all.

He is the source of every intelligence and intellect.
He is the powerhouse of every discovery and invention.
He is the ultimate in conquering any problems or difficulties.

The Kingdom of Christ the King is under several threats today…

The forces of materialism and consumerism…
… have clouded the minds of several with riches and pleasures.

The forces of sensualism and sensationalism…
… have corrupted many innocent hearts and destroyed many simple minds.

The forces of authoritarianism and individualism…
… have shattered many families and community lives.

The forces of relativism and practical atheism…
… are strongly raging against the practice of faith and the teachings of the Church.

As Christians, we are soldiers belonging to the Kingdom of God, with Christ as our King.

A soldier ought to be one who is deeply convinced and highly passionate of one’s King and Kingdom

As a Christian…
… am I deeply convinced of my faith and love for Christ and His Kingdom?
… am I passionately enthusiastic to live my Christian virtues in this world?

There are many who say that they are willing to give up their lives and die for Christ.

But today, the Lord also demands, “Are you willing to LIVE for Christ?”

There is an urgent need to become Christ the King’s living witnesses in this world.

Kings are often identified with a lot of pomp and grandeur and power and triumphalism.

But Christ our King is not bothered about any such external pageantry or vain flashiness.

Then what is the identification of this Christ the King?

In Mt 2:2, we read a question, “Where is the (newborn) King of the Jews?”

The answer to this question will be found at the end of the Gospel, with Jesus hanging on the Cross and a statement which reads in Mt 27:37, “This is the King of the Jews”!

The Gospel of the Day presents Pilate questioning the Kingship of Jesus.

Jesus, however, plainly clarifies…
… “My kingship is not of this world….” (Jn 18:36)

Where the Cross is, there is Christ the King!

Where the lost, the sinful, the abandoned and the lonely are… there is Christ the King.
Where the poor, the suffering, the miserable and the abused are… there is Christ the King.

The Cross is the identity and symbol of Christ the King!

As this Crucified King’s soldiers, we too are invited to be sharers in the Cross of Christ.

It is said that people who are crucified with Christ will have three distinct marks:

Since they are crucified…

  1. They can only look in one direction
  2. They can never turn back
  3. They no longer have plans of their own.

And these three characteristics ought to reflect in our Christian lives…

Being totally focused on Jesus and His kingdom… (looking in one direction)
Never to turn back from our commitment and get attracted to the ways of the world… (never turning back)
Giving up any of our personal goals and agenda which can deter us from God’s will… (no plans of their own)

Yes, let us hearken to His voice…Christ, the King – The Great King.
No land to reign, but our hearts…

No majestic throne, but the Cross…

No mighty army, but a few people to spread His word…

No royal treats all the time, but pain and suffering that leads to salvation…

No grand fiesta, but the sacrifice of the Calvary, in the Most Holy Eucharist…

This king invites us today to renew our commitment to Him

He comes to us in many different situations and circumstances of our life…

Let us never say to Him, “You may look for a place somewhere else!”

Instead, even in situations when the externals appear vague…
… filled with a clear disposition of the Lord reigning in our hearts, let us say: “The dress may be that of a peasant, but the voice is the voice of my lord, the King!”

Shall we always say “Yes” to this King of Hearts – Christ the Crucified King?

Fanfare is less, but faithfulness is assured….

Popularity is rare, but blessings are plenty.

Happy Feast to all the Valiant and Faithful Soldiers of Christ, the Awesome King!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The phrase “particular church,” which is the diocese (or eparchy), refers to a community of the Christian faithful in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession.
These particular Churches “are constituted after the model of the universal Church; it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists.”
Particular Churches are fully Catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome “which presides in charity.”
“For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord.”
Indeed, “from the Incarnate Word’s descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Saviour’s promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her.”
“Let us be very careful not to conceive of the universal Church as the simple sum, or… the more or less anomalous federation of essentially different particular churches.
In the mind of the Lord the Church is universal by vocation and mission, but when she pub down her roots in a variety of cultural, social, and human terrains, she takes on different external expressions and appearances in each part of the world.”

The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches “unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church!” (CCC # 833-835)

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