Sermon for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King – October 30, 2011 by Fr. Sretenovic
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Just a few preliminary notes here. First of all, since this is the great feast of Christ the King, the gospel today, the very next verse is Veritas? Quid est veritas? What is truth? What is truth? The relationship here between Christ Our Lord and Pilate is what is happening in every country in the world today. If any of us were even to behold the Son of God, think about what that would be like. I think I’ve mentioned this to you before, even that one film, Ben-Hur. It’s a film with an actor in it, and the sense you get of Christ’s holiness, His otherness, His power, majesty and His control of the situations, just in the two times He is on the screen, you say, Wow, yes, to be in His presence even as man, not even seeing Him as God, must have been amazing, must have been something that would have brought us basically to our knees if we were there, just to be in His presence.
And, yet, today we see Pilate. He is having a conversation, he doesn’t even recognize this might be somebody really important. He is just annoyed because of the situation he has been put in, the annoyance, the inconvenience of having to deal with the situation with the rabble, and possibly a riot on his hands. He sees Christ as the source of it. So, rather than seeing Him in His divinity, he has this opportunity here to do something to save his soul. He rejects it.
And, today, with the world’s leaders each of them despises Christ, at least in practice, if not formally. This is the tragedy of our times. As St. Thérèse said, Love is not loved. The one who is promising every single blessing that we could possibly imagine and more than that, is being rejected. He is being told, No, we don’t want You. They would not have Him as King. This is craziness. And to think, and for what. Like Esau in the Old Testament for some porridge, that’s it. Just like Esau gave up his birthright in the Old Testament to his brother Jacob, so today how many — I mean, obviously the Jews gave up their birthright to the Catholic Church because of their rejection of the gospel. And, today, many Catholics are giving up that right who in practice reject the reign of Christ the King over every nation, not just an individual, but by the practical belief in the separation of Church and State, which is a heresy.
So, how many — I would say even most Catholics, even some traditionalists hold this as if it is a good thing. In fact, the United States of America — our bishops, even when the bishops were really good otherwise. Cardinal Gibbons and others, especially in the middle of the 19th Century into the 20th Century, who didn’t just praise the form of government which would be one thing. The Church is not to say which form of government is the right one. Well, actually, the Church does, the Church says that the best form of government is a monarchy. However, it’s not the only form of government that is allowed within a Catholic state, as long as God is recognized as King.
In those times with the otherwise, again, really good bishops, they praised not just the form of government, but this separation of Church and State because of the rights of every individual to practice whatever faith they deemed fit. Even though recognizing still the Catholic Church as the one true Church, it was as if others could be saved practicing their own religion, and that is really incorrect. It is not the practice of an evil faith — even recognizing Christ as God, that is going to get one to heaven. So, in practice, really, even the bishops here when they were men and not doing what they are doing now, there was a major problem and it is one of the reasons why basically the spiritual children of those bishops, even today’s bishops and other clergy, really, in practice, are now just anti-Christs, really.
So, it is very important, it is of the utmost importance that Christ be recognized as King even in — obviously today we are not going to go out, get our guns, and start a war against the U.S. Government. That would be foolhardy. The end in mind has to be something that is reasonable that not just as good, but that can be accomplished. So in these times in which we cannot otherwise erect Christ as King of our nation publicly and officially, we can do so privately, and we can do so in a growing manner in our lives and to be working toward that end, which is one of the reasons why the John Birch Society, for instance, has never really been a good thing, even though there are some very good aspects of it, because the end in mind is not the social reign of Christ the King, but it is against communism. Being against communism is a very good thing, but if you are trading one demon for another, that’s not going to get the desired result that God expects.
It really has to be all or none. Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of before the angels of God. So, the gospel is not just about accepting Christ, it’s not just about accepting the Catholic Church in and of itself, but also and especially in these times, recognizing that Christ is King and He willed to be King not just at the end of time, not just in our souls, but in public life.
I have completely gone in a separate direction then what I prepared here, which, I guess, is a good thing, (Father laughing) something that every so often God wills that we prepare something and then He says something else, so that’s good, I don’t mind. But one other thing I do want to mention is that the real problem today is not our president, our politicians, our government, our whatever. It is abortion, sodomy, divorce, Obamacare, you name it, it is all those things. We get angry about these things, yet the very sins that we confess in the confessional over and over again, especially the sins against the sixth and the ninth commandments, are worse than any and all of that, because of who we are, and because of what we have been given. It is our weakness that gives our enemies strength. Bishop Williamson, one of the things he had mentioned in his letters from the rector when he was the rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, he said that there was a famous saying that as Catholic power increases, Jewish power decreases. As Catholic power decreases, then the Jewish power increases. It is dependent upon the strength of the Church, not upon the strength of the enemy. So, the Church is made up of individuals. Just like the social structures of sin that exist, all those bad laws, we did not start with that. It is personal sin that builds a structure that leads to the changing of the laws. Just like the new Mass was the fruit of the new theology, the new Mass was the fruit of people who had lost the faith who were in high places. That had to happen first.
So, we get so angry about the things we see around us. How many people get so upset because of what this one or that one is doing, and we forget that the sins that we are confessing over and over again, even though God does understand our weakness and He does forgive us, that is what is bringing us closer to chastisement more than any of these other sins. It is not the enemy, but you my intimate friend. Psalm 54, I believe. If an enemy had done this, I could bear it, but it is you, my intimate friend. So we must stop sinning. The six thousand or so who died in the World Trade Center did not die because of the Muslims or because of any Judeo Masonic plot, whatever you believe about that. They died because of the sins of traditionalists who should be working at the restoration of the reign of Christ the King, but who daily were and still are crucifying Our Lord again and again in their bodies and solidifying the reign and therefore the structure of sin in our society and in every society which makes such tragedies as 911 possible. There is that saying, The buck stops here. Well, that is our dignity, it is our duty and it will either be our delight or our damnation for all eternity. Let those sorrowful words of Our Lady of Fatima be repeated by us over and over again until they ring in our very ears day and night, People must stop offending God who is already so much offended. God was already so much offended in 1917 before most any of us were even born. How many sins, how much have we added to this toll, again, such a stern but loving warning and invitation. Time, we know, is running out. Let us mourn our sins, which have already so damaged the world and the Church, more so than anything those outside of the faith have ever done. And may that holy mourning bring about an end to sin and the reign of sin in our bodies, the beginning of the reign of virtue and eventually the reign of Christ over every society once again.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.