Homily, Feast of Christ the King, November 20, 2016

christ-king-sunayAs I have said in past years, the Feast of Christ the King is a rather late addition to the liturgical calendar. The Papal States had fallen and a secular government had taken over Italy with Mussolini on the rise. Communism had taken hold in Russia. Pope Pius XI was very concerned at the time with secularism and the Roman question. Secularism rejected religion in public affairs and in the schools. The Roman question referred to the Pope’s civil authority and independence from the Italian State. At best, his status was tenuous and ctk-concordatPius was working hard in many different was to solidify the Papacy which he did in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty making the Vatican a city-state. For many centuries, religion and state were often identified with each other and there were state religions that followed the religion of the ruler. With the beginning of the 1900’s and the rise of secularism, the events of the early century leading to World War I, and the separation of religion from secular affairs and the turmoil following WWI, secularism rose and religion declined. In trying to restore and emphasize the importance of religion, Pius instituted the feast of christ-kingChrist the king trying to bring the laity to realize that Christ was a King over all above and beyond all secular power and having all authority over the universe. Surely, scripture tells us Christ was a king, but not in any way an earthly king. His kingship was evident the day he died, his crown was one of thorns. His kingship was one of being of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Faith and religion are a part of a person’s belief, a part of their being. Ultimately, every person meets and answers to God in light of that faith life he leads. Regardless of the state, country or kingdom in which we live, What Christ has done is always before us and calling us to him and his Father. In his own way, ctkhe is present in the world today, in his Eucharist to nourish us and feed us as we move on in this life, and with his Spirit who comes to each of us and helps and guides when call upon him for His help. No matter how extreme or far out things may seem or even be, Christ and his Spirit are with us and will see us through if we watch, listen and pray. Our life of faith is one that while being within our world, is at the same time looking and being in the next. Can faith and life or living in the world be in conflict? Yes, they can and often are. But seeing, knowing and resolving the conflict is simply part of being human and answering Jesus’ call

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