Sermon for the Feast of our Lord Jesus Christ the King – October 28, 2012 by Father Stephen
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Dear Faithful, Old Testament prophesies are being fulfilled ever since Jesus became one of us. God reigns, rules among His people. “Emmanuel“, the Old Testament said, “God, with us.” And to honor Our Lord who is with us in the Blessed Sacrament – I will expose, because it is required that we, on this day, offer ourselves to Him, the Act of Consecration as asked by Pope Pius XI — and we need to find, it’s not put out yet, the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We will do that right after the homily, the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart, and also the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
As I was preparing for this homily you know, my mother told me priests are always learning. And even when they die, they die ignorant. I learned during the preparation for the homily today how Jesus, at his betrayal by Judas, at the unfair trial that was illegally held at night by the Council of Sanhedrin, His condemnation, being innocent, by Pilate, despite the fact that he declared Him innocent, yet condemns Him to death, Jesus, dying on the cross; all these events were designed by Him. They were not accidents. He is not a victim of circumstances, though He is a victim by choice. There’s the difference that reveals He is King, He rules, He reigns. He chose the time, He chose the hour. Darkness, St. John said when he received Holy Communion from Our Lord, Judas left to betray Him and John, the disciple, said, “It was night, it was dark”. And Jesus Himself says, “This is your hour”. And He chose that hour.
When He was betrayed and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, the people fell when He told, “I am Whom you are looking for”, but remember, “I am” is a name for God. That’s why they fell back at His presence. He reigns even in His suffering that he chose and accepted willingly. He said, “Thy Will be done, Father, not as I will it as a human, but as You”. The conversation with Pilate, and also with the Jews before that in the Sanhedrin meeting, He was showing who He was. He was the King. And they would not condemn Him on His kingship. They backed off on that. And they were forced to condemn Him on Jesus’ terms. They were rebels against His Divinity. Remember that. That’s why Jesus was killed, in the eyes of the Jews, that He claimed to God, Son of God, the Living God.
And in Pilate’s conversation, Jesus stops the conversation, He takes over. And He puts the questions to Pilate, and He reminds him later, “You would have no authority over Me unless it was handed over to you from above”. Jesus reminds Pilate and cuts him down to size. And he was trembling. As you know, he was also deposed by Rome later because of who He was. Jesus reigns. And that’s why where it said, “I was born to give testimony to the truth”. What does it say about truth, Jesus — two things, at least, I remember. He said, “I am the truth, and the truth shall set you free”. Do not forget this, my dear fellow parishioners. The truth is power and authority, it’s God. Whenever you get on your knees and confess your sins, you speak the truth, I hope, because that is what sets us free.
Truth is power, it’s God. That’s why Jesus reminded Paul, “My Kingdom is not from here, it is eternal, it’s over everything”. And He acknowledges His preexistence. He was born before Pilate was even conceived or the earth was conceived, or anything created. And remember every time we have the last gospel, everything was created for Him, in Him. And, as you heard today, “In Him everything exists, sustained by Him, the King. He reigns”. What a wonderful offer God is making to each one of us, to reign with Him.
Only if we share the crown of suffering penance, acknowledging our sins, pleading mercy from our Heavenly Father. That’s the narrow path, Jesus said, because many will try to get in some other mysterious ways, ignorant ways. They don’t know. “They will not make it”, He said. “Many will try and will not enter,” except those few who find the narrow gate, the narrow path of self-denial, practicing penance as good Catholics do, daily, not for Sunday only, but for every day. Every day is God’s gift. Practice penance. That’s why this country is in a shambles and despair because Catholics are not Catholics any more. Just by name. Their lives, they get divorced, they get remarried, just like pagans. This is what today’s statistics tell us. Catholics are not different. It was Catholics who put Obama in, you know. And the Obamacare was by Catholics, with two million others after them. Catholics are no longer Catholics. They are betraying the truth. That’s why we are weak. Our sins support Obama.
Let us do penance and follow Our Lord, who is our King, because He wishes you and myself to reign with Him. That’s what He promised to the apostles “and to everyone who follows Me“, He said. Glory is awaiting those who are willing to die to themselves, to break their own will and allow God’s will to reign in their hearts. That’s why we can say, Emmanuel, God is with us.
Let us be good traditional Catholics, again, not in name only, but by practice daily, and daily taking our crosses, our frustrations, other people crossing our will, things happening on the road. They are not accidents. Those are all little crosses. Our attitude should be gratitude, as you heard St. Paul, because Jesus is the image within us, with us, of God. In baptism God has entered our very lives. And we are to do that pledge and His promise that He reigns in us, only if we allow Him and don’t kick Him out with our mortal sins.
Let Jesus be King in us also. Jesus was so secure, absolutely peaceful, even at His trial, even while they nailed Him to the cross. He prayed that they be forgiven. Dear friends, truth, if you are anchored in it and you live in truth, it will give you peace. That’s the fruit of truth. It is life, God’s life in us, and nothing can embarrass us, letting us to turn against God, turn against our neighbor, because we live in truth and we don’t lie, if we live in the truth. But, if we don’t live in the truth, we will lie all the time. The Bible tells us man cannot but lie. Cursed is the man who trusts in man and not in God, says Jeremiah, the prophet. God wills you and me to be at peace, but it requires that we have faith and we live in His truth, following Jesus step by step every day, every hour, every minute. That’s why He said to the apostles while He was suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, “pray constantly that you not be tripped in temptations“. The saints, by their lives and example and their words, remind us. Unless you pray, you lose your soul.
So, let us continue to offer ourselves through Jesus to our Heavenly Father, honoring Jesus, our King.
May the good Lord and King, who is with us in the Blessed Sacrament, bless us and preserve us. Thanks be to God.
(Father recited the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart, and the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.