HOMILY FOR FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING (C)


Poets have always attempted to put words on the inexpressible and they do it very well.

Elizabeth Barret Browning saw ‘Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God

And Joseph Mary Plunkett, in his poem, sees all creation as the Body of Christ. Christ is present in all that exists.

‘I see his blood upon the rose And in the stars the glory of his eyes, His body gleams amid eternal snows, His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower; The thunder and the singing of the birds Are but his voice-and carven by his power Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn, His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea, His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn, His cross is every tree’.

The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925. Kings and Queens would have been very important people at that time and most countries would experience this system of ruling. We are not so familiar with these titles now but the feast still carries meaning. We still celebrate Jesus Christ as Lord of all creation. In the words of St Paul: ‘He is the image of the unseen God and the firstborn of all creation for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth….and he holds all things in unity’.

In the same letter to the Colossians Paul explains something of this lordship when says of the Father: ‘He has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of his Son that he loves, and in him we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins’ Jesus indeed showed during his earthly life that lordship does not mean domination or subjection but freedom and empowerment which comes from love.

Having this relationship with God means we are also in relationship with each other and with the whole universe, with all of creation. Pope Francis reminds us of this in Laudato Si, ‘As part of the universe, called into being by the Father, all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family...We have only one heart’ (L.Si. 89-92)

We do not have to do big things to celebrate this feast. Perhaps take a little time to lean over a gate and experience the harmony with nature around you, watch a sunset, listen to the gentle fall of rain or enjoy the presence of family or friends. Allow yourself to be one with the whole Body of Christ the King.

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