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Christ the King :: op-stjoseph.org

Christ the King :: op-stjoseph.org

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Published by: SaintJoseph on Sep 16, 2008
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Solemnity of Christ the King, 11-25-07
Choosing Your Standard
Scripture ReadingsFirst
2 Sam 5:1-3
Col 1:12-20
Luke 23:35-43Prepared by: Fr. Jonathan Kalisch, O.P.1.
Subject Matter
The two standards of Kingship offered to us – that of Darkness (self-possession) – or Light(humility and the reliance on God).
The standard of the Enemy: the enemy of all humanity and also our own personal enemy – who seeks to prevent our soul from advancing toward God. He seeks to cause anxiety,disturbance, tribulation, fear, and sadness in our hearts. The enemy tries to isolate andenslave men; first by a temptation for riches, and then because they possess some thing orthings they find themselves pursuing and basking in the honor and esteem (success) of theworld; getting such deference raises up the false sense of personal identity and value inwhich a blinding pride has its roots. The Enemy’s strategy is simple: riches or this is mine; tosuccess and honor or look at me; to pride or “I AM…”
The Standard of Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life
Honesty, openness, andgenuineness mark His approach. We are urged to acknowledge the talents we have – tothank God for them as gifts from the Trinity – and attribute them to their source. TheParadox of His Plan: If I have been graced with the gift of poverty (“he emptied himselfbecoming man”), then I am rich; if I have nothing of myself (“everything I have is from theFather”), I have no power and I am despised and receive the contempt of the world (“even todeath, death on a cross”) If I have nothing, my only possession is Christ (“Christ is God’s”)and this is to be really true to myself – the humility of a person whose whole reality and valueis grounded in being created and redeemed in Christ.2.
Exegetical Notes
Lk 23:42
can also be read – remember me when you come “in your kingly power” or “whenyou come with (in possession of) your kingly power.” (Jerusalem Bible)
All three crucified men are under the same sentence – or
“judgment.” They face thesame sentence of death but are also under God’s judgment as they face death – whichstandard will they choose?
Col 1:12-14:
The Father has delivered us from the dominion (kingdom) of darkness into theKingdom of his beloved son. Darkness means both evil and the power of the Evil One.Slavery to sin darkens the mind and makes it difficult to know the true light of God. Christ onthe Cross rescues us from the tyranny of Darkness and the Evil One, bringing us to theKingdom of light, truth, justice, peace (cf. Preface of the Mass), thus enabling us to enjoy the“glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom 8:21).
Col 1:13
– He transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved son: Here the initiative is allwith the Father – it is his rescue, but note that the kingdom is Christ’s. In 1 Cor 15:24-48,Paul says that the Church is entrusted to Christ until the final stage of the kingdom, when theSon will hand it over to the Father.
Col 1:18
– Christ is the head of his body, the Church: “head” indicates both the principles ofauthority and vitality, as well as the source of life and growth. Christ forms the nucleus of aredeemed humanity, as his resurrection is the cause of the resurrection of those who followhim. Fullness is in Christ himself, so that no other intermediary is necessary.3.
References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
# 550
: The coming of God's kingdom means the defeat of Satan's: "If it is by the Spirit of Godthat I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."
Jesus' exorcisms freesome individuals from the domination of demons. They anticipate Jesus' great victory over"the ruler of this world.” The kingdom of God will be definitively established through Christ'scross: "God reigned from the wood."
In the New Testament, the word
can be translated by "kingship" (abstractnoun), "kingdom" (concrete noun) or "reign" (action noun). The Kingdom of God lies ahead ofus. It is brought near in the Word incarnate, it is proclaimed throughout the whole Gospel,and it has come in Christ's death and Resurrection. The Kingdom of God has been comingsince the Last Supper and, in the Eucharist, it is in our midst. The kingdom will come in glorywhen Christ hands it over to his Father: “It may even be . . . that the Kingdom of God meansChrist himself, whom we daily desire to come, and whose coming we wish to be manifestedquickly to us. For as he is our resurrection, since in him we rise, so he can also beunderstood as the Kingdom of God, for in him we shall reign.”
: The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ,provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents'sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free.Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death,that is, the devil."
Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil givesrise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action, and morals.
: This dramatic situation of "the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one"
makes man's life a battle: “The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat withthe powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the lastday. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and
it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his owninner integrity.”
Patristic Commentary and Other Authorities
St Ambrose:
“The Lord always grants more than one asks: the thief only asked him toremember him, but the Lord says to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me inParadise.’ Life consists in dwelling with Jesus Christ, and where Jesus Christ is there is hisKingdom.”
St. John Chrysostom
: “It is one thing for man to judge someone he does not know; anotherfor God, who can see into a person’s conscience. Among men, confession is followed bypunishment; whereas confession to God is followed by salvation.”
St. John Chrysostom
: “In addition to the gift itself, he also gives us the power we need toreceive it… God has not only honored us by making us share in the inheritance, but hasmade us worthy to possess it. And so we receive a double honor from God – firstly, theposition itself; and secondly, the capacity to measure up to it.”
St. John Chrysostom
: “The Son of God has not only created everything: he conserveseverything in being; thus, if his sovereign will were to cease to operate for even an instant,everything would return into the nothingness from which he drew everything that exists.”5.
Examples from the Saints and Other Exemplars
St. Therese of Lisieux,
hearing of the conviction of the unrepentant murderer Pranzini in thesummer of 1887, began praying for weeks for his conversion. On Sept 1, amidst reports ofno change in the condemned man, the executioner was about to put his head into theguillotine block, when the unfortunate criminal seized a crucifix offered him by a priest, andkissed the Sacred Wounds three times.
Jose Escriva
: “Many times have I repeated that verse of the Eucharistic hymn:
Peto quod petivit latro poenitens 
, and it always fills me with emotion: to ask like the penitent thiefdid! He recognized that he himself deserved that awful punishment…And with a word hestole Christ’s heart and ‘opened up for himself’ the gates of heaven.”
Servant of God Pope John Paul II
: As Archbishop of Krakow, Wojtyla fought to build achurch in Nowa Huta, the model workers’ town-without-a-church built by the communists onthe outskirts of Krakow. For years, the communist authorities denied the church a buildingpermit, so thousands would gather weekly on the proposed spot for Mass, even in the snowand rain. At the Ark Church’s dedication on May 15, 1977, Wojtyla said, “This is not a city ofpeople who belong to on one…this is a city of the children of God.”
For a rousing secular example of choosing which standard to fight under, see King Henry’sspeech to his beleaguered yeomen troops – facing the most elite of the French aristocracy -outnumbered and out-generaled before the Battle of Agincourt on Oct 25
th – 
St Crispian’s day- as given by Shakespeare in Act IV, Scene III of
King Henry V 
Quotations from Pope Benedict XVI

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