November 26, 2017

A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE  OR THE THIRTY-FOURTH OR LAST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME –  CYCLE “A” – 11/26/17  –  SMG

+ Pax et Bonum!     Peace and goodness to you this day!

Can you believe how much we have heard about Black Friday this year?  This year, we heard more about Black Friday than we did about Thanksgiving!  How warped is that?   Are you sick of it?  I am sick of it!  They have been talking about Black Friday for weeks now!  This year, it seemed like they started talking about Black Friday, about the same time that they put the Halloween candy out!  Some merchants have been having Black Friday deals since November 1st.  It’s like it’s Black November, an entire month!  And everybody’s doing it!  It’s unbelievable!  Car dealers had Black Friday sales!  Furniture stores had Black Friday deals.  Jewelry stores had Black Friday deals.  I even saw an ad for one accounting firm that was having a Black Friday special.  It is all so wild!  Did you hear, that even a couple funeral homes tried to get into the Black Friday hysteria!  Come and get your early bird graves!  No, not really.  That one’s not true.  I just wanted to see if you were listening.  But I’ve got to tell you, this has really bothered me this year.  It’s been worse than ever!  And so I got to thinking, what if this weekend, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, what if here at church we had Extra Graces Sunday, on this Feast of Christ the King?  What if we had our own version of Black Friday right here today?  What if the first two hundred worshippers in the door at each Mass this weekend, got two bulletins, instead of one?  What if everybody who got up and went to 8:00 AM Mass this weekend only, only had to tithe 5%, instead of the regular 10%, like the Bible says?  What if everybody who came to Mass this weekend, got two hosts at Communion time, instead of just one?  Like you could get more of Jesus?  You can’t by the way.  All you need is one Host.  But would Black Friday deals at church, get more people to come to Mass?  Probably not.  I’m just so glad it’s over.

On this Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we do well to ask ourselves today, just how much we have let materialism take over our lives?  You know, today we celebrate that Jesus Christ is supposed to be the Lord and King of our lives.  IS HE?  IS HE REALLY?  Or, like so much of our culture and society, has our relentless pursuit of more things, and bigger things, and better things, really become our religion?  You see, my brothers and sisters, we have to be very careful about this today.  It is so easy for all of us to get off track!  And I remind you, we have a jealous God, a God Who wants to be Number One in our lives and in our priorities!  And how can He be, when we are more worried about a new coffee maker than we are our sins, or a new sweater, than we are our prayer life, or a new phone, rather than our service to God and our brothers and sisters?  These are days when it is very easy to CALL Jesus our King.  But these are very difficult days to really let Jesus BE OUR KING!  And that’s got to be our real challenge today!!!   As Catholic Christians, we CAN’T live like just like everybody else out there today.  We do have to be different!  And that’s so hard for us, because we want to be like everybody else!  Do you really think that Peter, James, and John were just like everybody else?  Do you think that Mary Magdalene, and St. Elizabeth, and the Blessed Mother were just like everybody else?  Or how about Mother Teresa, or Padre Pio, or John Paul II?  Now, there’s three people that really fit in, and were just like everybody else!  This Jesus, this King, calls us to be different, just like He’s a different kind of King!

Jesus is a King like no other!  The only crown He ever wore was made of thorns and brambles.  The only throne He ever was on, was a Cross!   As we come to the end of Ordinary Time, and as we prepare to begin the Holy Season of Advent next weekend, perhaps it really is time for us to take an accounting of our stewardship, before the coming of our King?  Have we been loyal subjects?  Have we shown our love and devotion to Him?  Do we talk to Him every day, and devote some time to our relationship with Him every day?  Do we come to Mass on time?  DO we stay at Mass until it is completely ended?   Do we pay attention at Mass and take part in the Liturgy?  Do we help support the Church every week, in our Mission of Building the Kingdom of God, by tithing?  Do we know, love, and support our brothers and sisters in our Parish family, and strive constantly to get to know them better?  You know, you can’t be Church with strangers!  And if Jesus told us that if we are going to love Him, then we are going to have to love our brothers and sisters, then maybe a good place to start is simply getting to know them!  Sign up now for the Spring Christ Renews His Parish weekends!  Do we keep the one-hour fast before Mass, to prepare to receive Jesus in Holy Communion?  And remember, this includes gum!  Do we show love and respect when we’re at Mass?  Or, in other words, how many times do we look at our phones?  There are billions of ways to make and keep Jesus Christ as our Lord and King!  But it doesn’t just happen.  We have to make it happen, and show our love and commitment all the time!

The Church doesn’t need to do Black Friday, or Cyber Monday.  But we do need this Feast of Christ the King.  We need this, because we need to be reminded who is supposed to be most important in our lives –  and it’s not, Target, and it’s not Macy’s, and it’s not Best Buy.  It’s Jesus!  Let Him lead you through this year, and into the next.  He will not steer you wrong!

May God bless us on this great Feast,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                    AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…       Pray for us !!!