November 23, 2014
Christ the King-Solidarity Week 4
November 23, 2014
Today is the Feast of Christ the King, and the final Sunday of the Liturgical year. Next Sunday, we begin a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent.
For us, this Sunday also marks the conclusion of my homily series
Solidarity. We have heard about three dimensions of solidarity: Prayer, financial giving, and talents. I must say that I very pleased at the commitment the people in our parish have made to become regular prayer warriors, as well as good stewards of their treasure, time, and talent. As we think about our own solidarity with God and each other, think about this: what am I living for? What is the center of my life?
To illustrate an answer to this question, I would like to tell you about a Polish astronomer named Copernicus. Those who go to World Youth Day in 2015 will see the University where Copernicus studied. His studies led him to understand the true relationship of the earth to the sun-that the sun does not revolve around the earth. Rather, the earth revolves around the sun.
Copernicus also learned about the correct relationship of man to God. From what we know of Copernicus, we have been able to see that he was a devout Christian. There is evidence that he prayed the Liturgy of the Hours every day of this life. On his deathbed, his fans brought several of his astronomy books, asking him to point out what he considered the most important passages. He brushed them aside and asked a friend to write the following:
O Lord, I cannot ask for the faith that you gave to Paul;
the mercy that you showed to Peter I dare not ask.
But the grace that you showed to the dying robber, that, Lord, show to me.
Clearly, Copernicus understood man’s proper relationship with God-that before him we are all fallen creatures in need of his grace. St. Paul tells us that Christ is the center of the universe, and that the pivotal moment in human history is his death on the cross. The earth is not the center, and man is not the center, but Christ is.
Blessed mother Teresa expressed this truth in a very simple way. When someone asked her why she spent so much time taking care of smelly, dirty people with terrible sores all over their bodies, she raised one hand up and said, “Because you did it for me.” These words, spoken by Jesus in today’s Gospel, sum up what should be the motivating factor for us: “You did it for me.”
These past weeks, I have asked you to share your time through prayer; your treasure through financial solidarity and your talents-by reflecting the gifts God has given you. How will you use those gifts?
Some may say, “I don’t have any gifts.” That is not true. Think about Thanksgiving dinner. Not only do you need a cook, but you also need people who are good at organizing and cleaning. Those are different gifts. If a Thanksgiving meal is to be successful, we must have people with those gifts helping. When we engage in this type of sharing, the sharing of our gifts, we have to remember one thing-we are not the center, but Christ is.
Today, along with Copernicus, Blessed Mother Teresa, and all the saints, we remember that Christ is the king-the center of our lives, and we remember also that he did it all for us!