So when is it you officially start your holiday season? Over the years I’ve noticed everyone has their own little trigger date that puts them in the holiday mood. For many of my electricians (and many, many other people I know), it is the start of Deer Season that puts them in the holiday mood. I know some say Halloween is their start – especially in retail stores. My daughter Grace and daughter in law Megan (Richard’s wife) work in a salon and they already have their Christmas lights burning. Thanksgiving is a trigger date for a lot of people I know, but mine is coming up this weekend when the Church celebrates the end of the Church calendar and we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. I love this coming celebration when the Church proclaims the greatness of the Lord and bows in reverence to our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. The readings, the psalms, the music all make for a beautiful liturgy, a true FEAST fit for the King of the Universe.
Today’s Gospel is prepping me for this feast, telling me of the importance of accepting Jesus as my King.
While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
Do you think the people Jesus was speaking to understood that distant country was heaven? My next question is for all of us reading this. Do we understand what our task is while waiting for the return of the King?
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
Are we to sit idly by with the gifts He has given us, are we not to invest these gifts – these gold coins – and offer a return on Christ’s investments when He appears again in Glory? NO. We are to take those gifts and grow them. Evangelize – spread the good news and bring to Christ those who don’t know Him; bring back to Christ those who did know Him but have fallen away. Married? Be fruitful and multiply and bring your children up in the faith. Need an example of the love we should show our children and how we should make faith our number one priority. Take a look at the first reading…
Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
who saw her seven sons perish in a single day,
yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,
she exhorted each of them
in the language of their ancestors with these words:
“I do not know how you came into existence in my womb;
it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
nor was it I who set in order
the elements of which each of you is composed.
Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe
who shapes each man’s beginning,
as he brings about the origin of everything,
he, in his mercy,
will give you back both breath and life,
because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.”
This woman witnessed the scouring and death of seven of her sons and instead of crying out to the king, ENOUGH, save my children from your wrath, we will break the law of God in order to obey the law of man so that we might live a few more days on this earth, she encouraged her children to stay true to the laws of the true King, the everlasting King, the Creator of our universe…
In derision of the cruel tyrant,
she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language:
“Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months,
nursed you for three years, brought you up,
educated and supported you to your present age.
I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth
and see all that is in them;
then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things;
and in the same way the human race came into existence.
Do not be afraid of this executioner,
but be worthy of your brothers and accept death,
so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them.”
I see this same fervent love of mother and child in my wife. There is nothing more important to her than to see her children in heaven. She has pushed and continues to push them to do great things for our Lord and to be true to their faith, be true to their families and be true to the source and summit of our faith in attending Mass. My wife is relentless with them and I love her for that. She has not taken her gold coins and merely wrapped them in a handkerchief. she has invested her entire life in them and brings to life this first reading. I also know her heart will be filled with joy to hear her children reply to those who tempt them into breaking their faith in the same manner as the mother’s son does to conclude our first reading…
She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said:
“What are you waiting for?
I will not obey the king’s command.
I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses.
But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews,
will not escape the hands of God.”
So, as I prepare for the season, I will always keep in mind the reason for the season and that starts with this weekends celebration of Christ the King. As I prepare for this feast, I will echo the message of our Psalmist…Lord, when Your Glory appears, my joy will be full.
Do something great for our Lord today – prepare for the season, make plans to attend Mass this weekend and loudly proclaim to all that JESUS CHRIST IS KING!!
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
But you, man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.