If you brought your child to the restroom during the Liturgy of the Word, you might walk away with one of two interpretations of Jesus as King. The first and second readings are bold and victorious. We see Christ coming on the clouds for the final judgment of heaven and earth. The Gospel sets a very different tone. Jesus is under arrest and facing death before Pontius Pilate. We know how this story will end. So if Christ is King, what does it mean? Is he a glorious conqueror or a suffering servant? "My kingdom does not belong to this world." Here is the heart of Jesus' reign. He is a king -- and his "subjects" are alive and well on earth -- but, ultimately, Jesus' kingdom transcends our earthly concepts of power. Jesus faced down the temptation of a solely earthly kingship. At the close of his 40 days in the desert, the devil offered him the kingdoms of the world. Jesus only had to sacrifice his heavenly values and worship Satan. The same temptations to distort the kingship of Christ are present to us today. Jesus' invitation also endures. "Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." It is important for us to belong to the full truth of Christ's kingdom. First, our own hearts must be transformed. Our own rebellions in favor of selfishness and against holiness must be conquered by God's grace. Second, we must work to transform the world as best we can in our own corner of it. Like Jesus shows us by his life and death, this doesn't mean domination. It means service, sacrifice, respect, and love. Our lives must "testify to the truth" of Jesus Christ, who lays down his life for his people. That is the true beauty of Christ the King!READ MORE
As we edge closer to the closing of the liturgical year, the Church selects readings that remind us of the final close: the second coming of Christ. It's easy, perhaps, to forget that this is a dogma of our Catholic faith. We see this dramatic end times language in today's Gospel. "The sun will be darkened ... and the stars will be falling from the sky."
As Christians and as human beings, we know all things will come to an end. " But of that day or hour, no one knows." The "end of the world" and end of time at Jesus' coming is in a future unknown. But God has given us beautiful reminders of this truth. We see the signs and symbols of ending all around us -- nightfall at the end of each day; the life cycle of crops coming alive, bearing fruit, and being harvested; our own death. That, too, will come at an unknown day and hour. But that is the way of things. Even as God created in Genesis, He gave us a sense of time -- the sun rising and setting, a beginning and an end -- to mark our days.READ MORE
The main problem we face in the Church today is cover-up by members of the hierarchy of sexual misconduct by members of the clergy. We have, in addition, not had an adequate system of accountability in place for bishops who have offended, i.e. for those bishops who have sexually abused children and/or sexually harassed adults.
The ability to adequately correct misconduct by bishops and cardinals is aggravated by the lack of anything in place at the present time to address this grave scandal in an effective and thorough way. Effective ways are needed to face squarely the years of cover-up of these atrocities by bishops and members of the Holy See in Rome. To put these in place, we bishops need to do what we can in our own dioceses, and then at the level of each national conference: we also need the leadership and close collaboration of the Holy Father.READ MORE
Prayer for Faithful Citizenship
Gracious and loving God, let your Spirit be with us today.
Hear our prayers, and increase in us the will to follow your Son Jesus.
Help us to draw on the resources of our faith as we use the opportunities of our democracy to shape a society more respectful of the life, dignity, and rights of the human person, especially the poor and vulnerable.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.READ MORE