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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Feast of Christ the King: the Alpha and the Omega

How wise Holy Mother Church is. On the last Sunday of the liturgical year she holds up before us the culmination of our year of worship, Christ the King. In Him we live, and move, and have our being.

Think of the pomp and circumstance of royal coronations and other celebrations. Remember the royal weddings? Prince Charles and Princess Diana: seven hundred fifty million viewers, a paltry showing compared to William and Kate's estimated three billion (give or take 500 mil.)! How many would watch if Jesus were being crowned on international TV today? Would he garner all those worshiping watchers? Or would picketers march outside with blasphemous signs, a mob screaming, "Bring in the lions!" When He comes will He find any faith on the earth?

"Who do people say that I Am," Jesus asked his apostles, and through them, men and women of all ages. Today, the Church answers. He is Christ the King, the alpha, the omega, the beginning and the end. Today shows us the glorious end of the story, the triumph of Christ the King coming on a cloud of heaven.

Next Sunday we begin the cycle again remembering the long centuries of waiting in anticipation for our Savior promised to Adam and Eve before they were driven from paradise. We will hear again the promise of a Messiah, the prediction of His birth in Bethlehem, His glorious names -  wonderful, counselor, everlasting Father, Prince of peace. We will watch and wait and see the star rising in the east to lead us to the crib -- not in a glorious palace -- but in a manger, a food trough, a graphic image to remind us that He will, indeed, feed us. All the words tell us so: manger - to eat in French, an animal's feed box in English; Bethlehem - house of bread; lamb of God - sacrificed and eaten at the Passover Feast; and, finally, the promise of the gospel, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." Do we take Him seriously? We had better!

What a journey we begin next Sunday, the first week of Advent. We look back remembering His birth 2000 years ago, we look forward to His future coming on the day of  Judgment, and we live today with Him dwelling among us in His Eucharistic presence in the tabernacle and in the tabernacle of our bodies when we receive Him in Holy Communion.

Let use these coming weeks of Advent to grow in faith, hope, and love.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

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