My Dear Friends,
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, and our liturgical year draws to a close. Next Sunday, we begin the Advent season and the themes that we heard in last week’s readings and in today’s will be present in the liturgy for the next month: Christ is coming! Today’s second reading from the Book of Revelation tells us: “Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him… (Rev 1:7).”
Last week I made mention in my homily that the coming of Christ will indeed bring a spiritual battle. The forces of this world, the forces of evil (and evil needs to be called out), run contrary to everything that Christ teaches us. As the people did during the time of Jesus, we live in a pagan world, and we need to fight to bring the teachings of Jesus into this increasingly secularized world that wants to dictate to us how to raise our children, how to live our lives, and how and what we should believe. Secularism has become the religion of choice in the 21st century, and I know that many of you as parents valiantly seek to shield your children from these forces of evil every single day.
This is what makes today’s Solemnity of the Christ the King that much more powerful. If we place Christ as King of our families and at the center of everything we do, we start changing the tide of over- secularization and start conquering hearts and souls for Christ. You have already read the words “battle,” “fight,” and “conquering” in this column. This is another strong point that I made in my homily last week: when we are in a spiritual battle, we call upon St. Michael the Archangel to defend us and to help us defeat the evil that surrounds us. Join me in praying:
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan
and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
It truly is a powerful prayer, and one that I urge you pray in your personal prayer life and with your families. Our school children pray it with Sister Rosalie every Friday after our school Mass. Jesus is our King and today we pray that all our parish families honor him as such as we bring his kingdom, his Good News, his mercy and his peace to a world that carries on as if God didn’t exist.
Finally, because Jesus is our King, this week we dedicate an entire day to thanking Him for all the blessings that we receive. We are a Eucharistic people who give thanks to God every time we gather for Mass, but there is something special about Thanksgiving Day when families gather at the dinner table to give thanks. This Thanksgiving, there is so much for which to be thankful, and as your pastor, I give thanks for the gift of all of you. We have been through so much during the last two years, and I am thankful that we are growing as a parish community who today celebrates Christ our King!
God bless you all,