A Different Kind of King

11-25-2018From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Bulletin deadlines caused me to have to write these words before Thanksgiving – so I cannot yet tell you about mine. I certainly hope that your own was great! I do want to say a special thank you to all those who supported the Thanksgiving Food for the Needy Drive that provided hundreds of dinners for poor families. Whether you donated food, wrote a check, spent time packing, or helped out in some other way – thanks for celebrating this Thanksgiving with a spirit of charity and compassion!

Today, Catholics around the world are celebrating the Solemn Feast of Jesus Christ, the King. It is a day to consider the place that Jesus has in our lives. While we often think of Jesus as our Savior and Lord, today's feast reminds us that He is also our King. The Bible calls Jesus the "King of Kings". This means that everyone, including the "kings" of this world, are ultimately accountable to Him. As we say in the Creed – Sunday after Sunday – "His Kingdom will have no end."

Our observance of Christ the King Sunday – as this Feast is commonly called – asks us to consider how well we really allow Jesus to be our King. How well we live by His Laws. How well we practice His teachings. How well we strive to be part of that Eternal Kingdom where He "lives and reigns forever and ever."

Many of the kings who ruled the world when Jesus lived His human life often misused their power. Thankfully, Jesus is nothing like them! Jesus has all the power in the universe – but He uses it for good, and asks us to do the same.

Indeed one of the "laws" Jesus makes for us is that we practice charity and show mercy to others. One way to do this is by taking a tag from the Giving Tree. You know how it works – we take a tag and buy a gift for the person on it (usually a child from a poor family). It's always nice to see the presents start coming in – thanks to your generosity.

To be sure, our King commands other things, too – things like going to Church on Sunday, practicing honesty and purity, and respecting the lives and property of our neighbors. These are, of course, summed up in the Ten Commandments – and we do well on this Christ the King Sunday to reflect on how well we live by them. With Advent starting next Sunday, I will start speaking about making a good Confession before Christmas. Thinking about how well we live by our King's Commandments is a good way to start preparing for our Advent Confession. So is thinking about what we can do to show that Jesus Christ is truly our King.

Please remember that Hail Mary for me today and every day. I take great pleasure in praying for all of you – and in knowing I can rely upon your prayers. Let's also pray for all those in need and for peace in our troubled world.

Have a great week.
Fr. John