Please mark your calendars to attend our Advent Reflection and Adoration on Tuesday evening, November 30th, at 7:00 pm. It will be a great way to kick-start our reflective season of Advent.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. In our Gospel, Jesus tells Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” What does that mean for us?
One way that it has been interpreted and lived out in the past is that Jesus’ Kingdom is in heaven, another place, and therefore this world is not important. With that interpretation, our focus is on getting to heaven, on doing what will please God so that we are saved at the end of our lives.
But I think a better way to interpret it is that, rather than saying His Kingdom is in a different place, Jesus is saying that the Kingdom that He wants to establish right now is based on different values and structures that are normal “in this world.” For example, in the Kingdom of Jesus, the last are the first. In other words, those in need are the ones who get attention. Those in power “serve” those in need, rather than exercise power over them.
This interpretation puts our focus on living in the present and challenges us to help Christ’s Kingdom to unfold. I end with a quote from Fr. George M. Smiga that expresses what I want to say:
There are two kingdoms operating in the world in which we live, and we must decide between them. That decision will determine everything, everything about our lives. It will determine how we live personally and interpersonally, how we live spiritually and politically, how we live emotionally and economically… those who belong to the kingdom of God do not have survival as their highest good. Therefore, their decisions are often different from those many others make in our world. For those who belong to the kingdom of God, decisions will not be determined by what everybody else is doing or what the latest polls say. They will have a different perspective on war, on poverty, on immigration, on healthcare. They will have a different opinion on the value of life whether that life is found in the womb, or on death row. They will have a different approach on what is most important in raising a family and how one should treat one’s enemies.
There are two kingdoms operating in the world in which we live and their values are different. We must choose between them, and the choice we make will influence everything.
I invite us to reflect this week on which kingdom we are choosing, asking God to help us grow in bringing about HIS Kingdom.
Have a prayerful and thankful Thanksgiving. God bless.
Church sign of the week: It’s not happy people who are thankful; it’s thankful people who are happy.