Project Description

Christ the King (B)
Dn 7:13-14/ Rev 1:5-8/ John 18:33b-37

Today, on this great solemnity of Christ the King,
the solemnity that ends the liturgical year—
I want to reflect on just a few points about King Jesus.

Brother Guy Consolmagno,
the official Vatican astronomer—
who has a PhD from the
University of Arizona in astronomy—
and a Jesuit—
wrote a book entitled:
Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

This book is a book of questions that
he has been asked as the official Vatican Astronomer.

And “Would you baptize an extraterrestrial?”
is a question he gets quite often.

What’s Brother Guy’s answer?

“Only if she asks!!!”

“Only if she asks!!!”

Brother Guy’s answer points out
brings out our first interesting
point about King Jesus.

Jesus is a King who doesn’t have subjects—
Jesus is a King who has followers!!!

Someone must choose to let Christ be their King.

Someone must choose Him for their Alpha and Omega.

Someone must choose Him to be the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I saw a T-Shirt one time that said, “Don’t Follow me, I’m lost.”

Well, King Jesus’ did not wear that t-shirt.

Two of His favorite words are “Follow me.”
Peter and Andrew, “Follow me.”

Matthew the Tax collector, “Follow me.”

The Rich young Ruler, “Follow me.”

To Steve Roberts, “Follow me.”

To you, “Follow me.”

These words are plain and personal.

King Jesus doesn’t have subjects—
He has followers.

And I know,
At least in my life,
who Jesus’ primary competition is for my loyalty.

I know who Jesus’ primary competition
is to be my royalty.

It’s me.

I want to be the ruler of my own life—
I want to be the alpha and omega—
I want to be the captain of my soul.

You know looking back on
our lives can be a little painful.

And looking back at mine—
when I was my own king—
Well, if I’m honest, didn’t work out so well.

To those around me—
I was an OK guy.

To myself, I was an OK guy.

And then I read that dag-gone Gospel.
And then I started studying this Jesus.

And I came to the conclusion
that just being OK wasn’t a very good life for me.
A happy and enjoyable and relaxing life at times—
but not a life filled with
incredible meaning and purpose—
and certainly not as fulfilling as it could have been.

I certainly would help people—
But with me as my own King—
I wouldn’t go out of my way—
to really sacrifice for others.

Wouldn’t put much skin in the game.

I gave from my excess,
not from my poverty.

Loving my enemies seemed unnatural—
and useless—
and a distraction.

I didn’t hate people—
I just didn’t love them.

Forgiving and forgiving and forgiving was impractical.

Turning the other cheek was cowardice and weak.

But King Jesus had—
and still has—
so much more planned for me as
one of His followers.

And while I’m far from
where I should be—
I know this.

Every act of love—
Every act of mercy—
Every sacrifice.
and my life is bursting with
meaning and purpose and fulfillment.

I’m weak though—
it’s a daily decision—
or sometimes an hourly decision—
but I like life more when Christ is my King.
Would you baptize an extraterrestrial?

Only if she asked.

King Jesus doesn’t have subjects—
He has followers.

Second point about King Jesus—
He’s different—
He’s very different from other royalty.

One of my favorite parts of Scripture comes
from the Book of Revelation— (Chapters 4 and 5)

It’s fantastic.

The curtain is lifted and John the Revelator
peaks into the throne room of heaven.

One of the elders announces that the
only one worthy to break the seal and
open the scroll that reveals God’s plan to
overthrow the evil that
has taken root in the world—
it’s the Lion of the tribe of Judah—
from the Root of King David.

It is Jesus who has triumphed—
He can open the scroll.

And then—then—
Jesus the King enters the throne room—
not as a roaring and powerful Lion—
but as lamb.

A gentle lamb who had been slain.

King Jesus is a different kind of royalty.

King Jesus is most beautiful not when
covered in fine silk with golden thread—
but when covered in blood
hanging from the Cross.

King Jesus is crowned with thorns
That has been hammered into his head.

And not a whimper—
not a breath of vengeance.

King Jesus is a different kind of royalty.

And King Jesus disguises himself—
disguises Himself as the hungry one in our midst—
as the homeless one—
as the oppressed and the prisoner and the refugee

As He told Pilate—
His Kingdom is certainly not of this world.

Not that it’s not present in the world—
It’s so different—
It’s hard to recognize.

King Jesus is different—
Very different.

So King Jesus doesn’t have subjects—
He has followers

And King Jesus is a very different sort of royalty.

And lastly, and this is so awesome—
King Jesus shares His royalty with His followers.

Christ the King doesn’t hoard up
the spoils of royalty for Himself.

King Jesus has no body guards to
keep us lowly humans away
from Him and his divinity.

No, it’s just the opposite.

King Jesus runs after us—
King Jesus is obsessed with us—
King Jesus wants to only give to us.

Give us His grace—
Give us His Body and Blood:

To transform us—
To lead us—
To guide us—
To comfort us—
To protect us from even eternal death itself.

Including—
at the end of time—
restoring all of creation.

King Jesus gives, and gives, and gives.

That’s why the King
has some other favorite words:
“Be not afraid!”
“Be not afraid!”

So, King Jesus doesn’t have subjects—
He has followers:

“Come and follow me,” He calls.

And King Jesus is a very different sort of King with
a different sort of Kingdom.

And King Jesus shares His royalty with His followers:
So He assures:
“Be not afraid.”

I want to end with some insights from Fr. Henri Nouwen.

He understood the spiritual life as a journey.

And in this journey—
As Jesus increases and we decrease—
As King Jesus increases and King Steve decreases—
certain movements take place.

He wrote about 27 movements in all.

They’re wonderful to reflect on
to not only see where we may be
in our spiritual journey—
but they are exciting to reflect on
to see the great potential that
awaits as the journey progresses.

I’ll mention just a few:

From hostility to hospitality.

From competition to compassion.

From worrying to prayer.

From forgiven to forgiver.

From resentment to gratitude.

What wonderous things await
for those make Christ their King.

“Come and follow me”
“Be not afraid”

Holy Spirit 11/24-25/2018

Announcement:

On Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm at the Cathedral of Christ the King, there will be a Diocesan Liturgy of Atonement. That day all of the priests of the diocese will fast.

And we will pray and fast for the healing of victims of abuse—
We will pray for the conversion and just punishment of the perpetrators and those who covered up abuse—
And we will pray for Bishops and priests to be true shepherds as God called them to be.

This scandal shows the incredible harm that can be done when leaders in the church make themselves their own King—
And don’t choose Jesus as their King.
And the reminder that only through Him—through King Jesus—can credibility be restored to His Church and Healing for His people.

Liturgy of Atonement, this Wednesday, 7pm at Christ the King Cathedral.
All are invited.