Sunday, November 24, 2019

Christ the King Gives Us the Fullness of Life

Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is important to remember what we mean when we say that Jesus Christ is King.

It does not mean that He is a tyrant. In fact, it means the opposite of any such notions.

In Jesus Christ, God dwells among us not to repress our humanity but to empower us to the fullness of life. As Christians, we ourselves are anointed in the Holy Spirit and attain a "royal" dignity. We are not slaves, but "members of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19), adopted children of the Father and "heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17) to eternal life, which means for us a created participation in God's own life destined to be fulfilled in the everlasting embrace of beatitude. There is no human status or power or freedom that can even begin to compare to this. Moreover we are each one of us called to a share in bringing about the Kingdom of God; we are called to participate in the realization of God's wisdom, His plan, His design, which in fact constitute the meaning and the fulfillment of all things.

This vocation encompasses and validates the whole scope of our humanity. 

In this life of time and space on this earth, God's Kingdom is present in mystery, which means it is the very depth and center of reality as God constitutes it in the course of history. Through faith, hope, and love, we become—in Christ and the victory of His redeeming gift of Himself—protagonists in building up God's Kingdom, in the joy of the Holy Spirit and in the recognition of God's love that conquers all things, even suffering, death, and sin.

The transfiguring glory of eternal life begins within our lives right now. As Father Julian Carron says, Jesus has come "to reawaken our selves so that we can confront any challenge. Christ was not made incarnate to save us from the work of our reason, our freedom, our involvement, but to make it possible; because this is what makes us human, what allows us to live a life of passionate adventure even in the midst of all its difficulties."

We acknowledge the kingship of Christ by living in Him with the whole of our humanity, by trusting in Him in whatever circumstances of life we face. We suffer in so many ways, but this is never meant to defeat us, but rather to open us up to the ever-new possibilities of God's inexhaustible love.

This is why we say, "Never give up!"