CATHOLIC LIVING TODAY
Solemnity of Christ the King (34B), November 22, 2009
BURNING QUESTION: What Commandments require restitution?
FEATURED BLOG: 100 Catholic Ways to Pray
PRIESTS STORIES: Think you might have a religious vocation?
PASTORAL HISPANA: Cristo es el Rey que está al servicio de la verdad
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, the conclusion of the liturgical Church year. It is a feast rich in theology and spirituality. It causes us to meditate on the Second and Final Coming of Christ, the last Judgment, and the end of the world. Our Discussion Questions this week can guide you during your Bible Study journey with your family, friends and church groups. Click here to join our Online Sunday Bible Study.
The Feast of Christ the King
The feast of Jesus Christ the Universal King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925. They were history's bleak days when fascist and communist clouds were darkening the earth with their ominous shadow. The feast was to remind us that we should not be fooled by the braggarts who strut and the bullies who gloat. They will be gone soon, says Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, and Jesus will be here soon. And while the Son of God came the first time in a way both lowly and hidden, He will come one day in a way both public and glorious. How soon no one knows.
The Messiah, the Christ, the King
So what does it mean to affirm that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the King? Michael D. Guinan, O.F.M. elaborates in "Christ the King and Biblical Messianism."
From this Sunday's Readings, Fr. Alex McAllister SDS explains how we come to the finale when Christ quietly standing alone before Pilate accepts for himself the extraordinary title King of Kings. He was a king but not in any way Pilate could have imagined. Smallness was his power, Fr. John Foley, S. J. explains. And persuasion was his scepter, along with an amazing ability to teach. And so even today, Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS notes, devotion to the kingship of Jesus is often marked with elaborate procession and grandeur that befits a medieval king. He is quick to remind us, however, that the kingdom of Jesus is not so much of the splendor of earthly reign, but of the world that is to come.
A Kingdom of Unselfish Love
Phil Bloom homilizes that Jesus shed his blood so we could gain entrance into a kingdom that would embrace all peoples, nations and languages.This show uf unselfish love is the only truly effective and lasting power in the world. This love of Jesus, explains Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B., will conquer the hearts of millions, while the power of Pilate and the great Roman Empire will crumble to dust.It is a truly revolutionary message, given to us by Jesus, which permeates all the gospels.
This Christianity that we profess is not just a membership in an organization. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino tells us that as Christians we share in the life, the authority and the mission of the King of Kings. Fr. Jim Kirstein, SMA emphasizes that this kingship requires more than just a nodding acquaintance with the Gospel and the New Testament. Prayer too is very important.
The Essence of True Religion
And yes, this kingship requires service. Christ is a King with a towel around your waist, explains Paul Dion, STL. We are sent to rule in the Kingdom of God just as His Son did, with a towel around our waist, love in our hearts and the ardent fire of non-negotiable zeal constantly burning a brand in our entire being. So, Fr. James Gilhooley preaches, we do not want to cause people to tremble before Christ and His Church. Rather, if anything, we want to move them to genuine repentance.
Fr. Ron Rolheiser challenges us to ponder what defines true religion. What ultimately constitutes true worship? How do we know that we aren’t creating God in our own image and likeness and using religion for our own purposes?
So, On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, our Crucified King hangs in our midst, arms outstretched in loving mercy and welcome. Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB prays that we may have the courage to ask him to remember us in his kingdom, the grace to imitate him in our own earthly kingdoms, and the wisdom to welcome him when he stands knocking at the doors of our lives and hearts.
Catholicism - On the Web & in Architecture
Benedict XVI surfs the web and uses email - really! During an interview on an Italian TV network, a Vatican Archbishop confirmed that while the Pope doesn't have a personal email address, he “sends his own personal emails. He really does!" He has such a great appreciation for new technology that while speaking at the recent meeting of the Pontifical Council of Social Communication, Benedict XVI commended the work of Catholics on the Internet.
This week, the Pope also drew lessons from old cathedrals and their Gothic architecture. Referring to them as "stone bibles," he said they offer two lessons: one regarding Europe's Christian roots and another on the "way of beauty" as a path for meeting God. And as the liturgical calendar marks the dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul, Benedict XVI exhorted young people to love and build up the Church.
From the blog of a Catholic professor, we bring you the tale of how he challenged his students to try a new way to pray. In response, several of them asked him to write up a list of different ways Catholics pray. He came up with 100 ways - it is a collection of prayers, kinds of prayer, ways to pray, devotions, sacramentals, etc. Check it out.
Making a Difference on Life
Responding to the ongoing national debate on Health Care, Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Cap. offers a reality check from the discipleship front: "Catholic witness has a cost." And in support of the opposition to the Death Penalty, two U.N. resolutions were passed recently calling for a universal moratorium on capital punishment. So on Nov. 30 more than 1,000 cities around the globe will join with the Community of Sant'Egidio in their "No Justice Without Life" initiative.
A U.S. bishops' aide is saying that an annual collection to support the poor is more important than ever this year. The collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development will take place in most parishes this weekend, Nov. 22.
And we are moved by the Life-related story of Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman who is still coping with the death of his adopted daughter, 5-year-old Maria. Chapman said he felt like he was in a black hole and faced with a God he had not known before. He discussed how wrestled with his beliefs.
Getting Ready for the Holidays
As we move into Thanksgiving week, many of us will be playing gracious hosts to family and friends. And many others will be guests at the homes of others.
If you are spending the holidays at a friend's house, we offer you tips on how to be a heavenly houseguest -- and keep your sanity. If you are hosting, you're one of many weekend chefs who grow dumbfounded each tyear at their lackluster performance preparing one key holiday dish: Stuffing. This chef tip is coming your way a few days before Thanksgiving just in time to help you dress your holiday turkey for success.
Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed new week.
Keep the Faith. Peace.
Publisher & Editor in chief
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