A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE – CYCLE “B” – 11/22/15 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
For centuries in western civilization, the kings and great leaders of many nations claimed a “Divine Right” to rule. They claimed that God had chosen them and that they were doing God’s will. These rulers may have come to power by their family-line, or by who their parents were, or by money, or by war, but it was always very important for the kings of this world to claim that God had chosen them, and that they were doing God’s work. To emphasis that God was with them, many kings had elaborate coronation ceremonies that were often held in the great Cathedrals of Europe, and they were crowded by Church hierarchy, sometimes even by the Pope himself.
One such king, that this was very important to, was King Louis IX of Castile, the King of France from 1226 until 1270, or as he is better known today, St. Louis. For St. Louis, being a King was really a calling, a vocation. Unlike most of the other monarchs of medieval Europe, St. Louis wanted to humbly use his power and authority to serve God and build up His Kingdom. He prayed daily to God to know how to love and serve God’s people under his rule. You see, St. Louis had the unique ability to know that he wasn’t god, but that he had been given a great deal of power and opportunity to do a lot of good for God. This was his responsibility. And he strived every day to do that as King of France. St. Louis took very seriously his mission as “lieutenant of God on Earth”, with which he had been invested when he was crowned King. To fulfill his duty, he conducted two crusades. Everything he did was for the glory of God and the good of His people. He protected the poor and was never heard to speak of ill of anyone. He excelled in penance and had a great love for the Church. He was merciful, even to rebels. He even dies in northern Africa, while on the second of his crusades. He is the only French monarch to be canonized a saint, being canonized in 1297.
St. Louis was one of those rare, extraordinary human beings that make up our list of Saints. St. Louis was unlike most other kings that came before him, and those that followed after him. St. Louis got it. Once you start following Jesus, this life is about Him. It is not about us. You see, it doesn’t matter whether you are the King of France, or a teacher, or a doctor, or a business man or woman, or a baker, or a construction worker, or a student, or a computer specialist, or a cop. Jesus is supposed to be the real King and the real authority in all of our lives! The question that we all face as we come here on this last Sunday of our liturgical year, is, are we wise enough to let Jesus be our King?
Far too many of us are really good about saying that Jesus is our Lord. We’re real good at having all the right words. We can carry a Bible, and wear a cross around our necks, and put a license plate or a chrome fish on our car. But we never really seem to get to the point of really letting Jesus be in charge of our life! If Jesus is our King, our Lord, and our God, then we must submit to His authority. We must let Him lead us, and be in charge, and take us where He needs us to go. And just like most medieval kings, we don’t want to do that. We want our way, not God’s. And that conflict, my brothers and sisters, is exactly what keeps so many of us from being saints!
Trust God! St. Louis knew that God was so much more powerful, and more wise, and more loving than what he was. He was humble enough to be God’s servant. And he trusted God every day in every thing! If Jesus is our real King, then we must trust Him also. Day in and day out, we must humbly follow His will , and not our own!
This is a great Feast! We come to the end of one year when we have tried to allowed Jesus to be the center of our lives. And next week, in the Church, we begin our new year of trying to let Jesus be even more and more the center of our lives. We pray that we have grown much this past year. And even more, we pray that in the next year, Jesus will be our only authority when it comes to directing our lives. Long Live Christ the King!
+ May God bless us on this Feast Day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!