Daily homily thoughts, 11/26

Today Jesus applauds the woman who gave “from her poverty.”  He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest;  for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”  Sometimes it seems we have nothing more to give — time, energy, money, etc. Btu then we find a little bit more. And we give from what we didn’t even think we had.

Some things we know about Jesus’ Kingship: A homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King

thA few things to note on this feast of Christ the king!

  1. Jesus is a permanent king.  All the other kings of this world have fallen away. Some have been tyrants and some have been considered gods, but all fall away. Except Jesus is different.  His reign lasts forever. Davidic Covenant.
  2. Jesus is the universal king.  Jesus IS the king — and not just of the Jews, but of the entire universe. First reading–all nations, languages,peoples. Jesus came for all! That’s why we’re the CATHOLIC (universal) church
  3. Jesus is a supernatural king. He is king here, but also a king of heaven. The kingdom is ultimately not of this world… His kingdom should help to shape our kingdom here. The world shouldn’t shape the kingdom; the kingdom shapes the world.
  4. Jesus is a legitimate king. Because he’s God.  As such, he has authority over us. We are meant to obey him. Now a word about authority and obedience.  We don’t much like these words these days. It strikes us as politically incorrect to say that we must be obedient to anyone or anything. I decide what is right and wrong, thank you very much – it’s not for anyone else.  Freedom in our day is described as license …. the right to do whatever you please.  Prodigal son understood freedom that way – and he was left miserable and bankrupt.  But that is how our culture tends to think these days. No one can limit me – no restraints, no boundaries, no limits!

    But let’s analyze that way of thinking for a minute.  Because I think we do understand it in different contexts.  We know there are rules, there are certain things we really should obey.  Example: my fish tank.  The glass are the rules, the boundaries; inside the thing, the fish live happily and safely.  Without the glass walls, the water would be everywhere and they’d die.  Another example: Basketball – how could you play a game without lines on the court?  It’d be impossible.  BUT!!  There are also lines on the moral field too!  boundaries within which we are meant to live life.  We call them a lot of things – the teachings of the church, the ten commandments, the precepts of the church…the basic lines on the field, the requirements ………  BTW – let’s review those precepts!  The precepts are the minimum requirements for the moral life–
    1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation.
    2.You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
    3.You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least once during the Easter season.
    4.You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
    5.You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

    But of this I am sure:  Life is infinitely better when we live as Christ invites us to live.  Jesus’ kingship is not of oppression, but freedom!  I wonder if any of my fish every think: maybe I should jump out.  But then they’d die — and that’s what happens to our souls when we jump out of God’s ways.

  5. Jesus is also a personal king.  Which means we have to say it:  JESUS IS KING OF MY LIFE. Pilate says to Jesus today, “So you‘re the king!?” And Jesus to Pilate:  “Are you saying this on your own or have others been telling you about me?” (John 18:34)  Msgr Pope notes that we must acknowledge PERSONALLY that Jesus is MY king.  He isn’t just king of the universe out there, but he is king of my life. It isn’t enough to say that, “My mom believes he’s the king” or “my priest believes Jesus is king.”  No….Jesus looks us in the eyes and says:  Do YOU acknowledge me as king???!!   If so……your life will prove it.   When JESUS is my personal king, he king of everything!!  My calendar, my family, my checkbook, my friendships, my Friday evenings, the books I read, etc.

Viva Cristo Rey! Que Viva!

Daily homily thoughts, 11/22

Some thoughts about Thanksgiving –

  • Gratitude is a virtue, not just an action.  Like all virtues, it must be part of our character, part of who we are. “A good Jew thanks God 1000 times a day, says the old phrase.” Same for us Christians.
  • The word “thanks” in English is a little clunkly. But in Spanish it’s gracias, which is a lot like the word gracia which means grace.  In French, it’s merci, which sounds a lot like mercy.  Other languages hit the nail on the head better with this word. In a sense, every time we say “thanks” we are naming a grace, naming a mercy. They are everywere.
  • Dinner with Churchill – a beautiful book about how Churchill used meals as his secret weapon to win over enemies, to forge agreements, to learn and share visions. There is something unifying, sacred about a shared meal…it accomplishes something