Christ *Is* The King
We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.
I sang in the schola in grade school and thanks to our Polish pastor, traditional hymns were a constant even after the Second Vatican Council was misinterpreted into musical chaos. The Feast of Christ the King was always my favorite, I loved the music, the Christus Vincit, the glorious vestments, incense, all of it a peek of heaven. It was a fitting celebration of Catholic truth as we proclaimed in song, “To Jesus Christ our Sovereign King, who is the world’s salvation.”
Yes, He is truly the world’s salvation. In the day’s reading, St. Paul talks about Christ reigning until all enemies are under His feet, about the Lord of all presenting His sheep to God who is all in all. This is what we believe, although likely a foreign concept to those so ill-formed in their faith today.
Recently, Pope Francis – who has yet to learn that silence is golden, especially around the media vultures – suggested the world needed a single organization to coordinate humanitarian needs. I would like to remind him there is such an organization already in place, with agents of mercy in every corner of the globe. It is not the United Nations or Green Peace (working in the name of holy climate), or proponents of one-world government with themselves at the top, of course. The organization which exists and was specifically commissioned at its founding to go to all nations is the Catholic Church, with Jesus Christ as its heart and soul.
The roadmap for humanitarianism is in Matthew 25:34-40, part of Sunday’s Gospel, which outlines the works of mercy all of us are bound to perform because we are baptized in Christ Jesus: food for the hungry, visiting the sick and those in prison – not just literally, we have cell phones now, we can call sick friends and shut ins, those who are burdened in sorrow – and we can bring peace through prayer, which should always be our first resort, not our last.
The Synod process, now the hot topic in Catholic churches, calls for development of small groups in parishes to meet for discussions. Discussions of what has never been clear, one parish has made it sound like a social club, with dinner or going to a movie – the act of meeting more critical than the content, each group can decide their purpose. The ongoing Synod on Synodality met in Rome in October to begin a “yearlong process” to create a Synodal Church. What was initiated years ago as the Synod of Bishops to teach the Shepherds their task, has now morphed into an ongoing process of meeting – clerics and specially chosen laity – working together “for the Catholic Church to collaboratively chart its path in the modern era, emphasizing listening, discernment and mission” (as reported by the National Catholic Register).
Listening and talking together are fine activities, but discernment for the Church’s mission is not up for grabs. Jesus Himself, as part of His mission, sent His followers to go teach all nations those things He taught. That’s our job and while it is nice to imitate Christ with twelve group leaders who need to get six more people into each group (i.e., the 72 who were sent out in the name of Christ and reported back that they cured the sick and cast out demons), but I ask, what is the bottom line in the synod endeavor? You cannot teach/evangelize what you don’t know.
In a world growing more a-theistic (anti-God) each day, in a world in which church attendance is plummeting, in a world in which only 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, happy, happy, happy let’s get together isn’t going to do it.
Our problem – due to two generations of fuzzy catechetics – is people don’t know the purpose of the Church which Jesus Christ founded: the salvation of souls. This goal is achieved by knowing God, through this knowing thus coming to love Him, and because of that love, serving Him by imitating His mercy and self-sacrificing love toward others. This is the epitome of the humanitarianism Pope France is looking for.
We are still on the bottom rung of that quest, the knowing part. Very few Catholics know about the teachings of the Catholic Church (the real teachings, not the media version), very few care about the Church, and Jesus Christ is not the number one focus in life. So before having synod members in every parish talking/griping to each other about whatever they want, it would be better if the meetings were directed toward Catholicism, teaching the faith to these prospective missionaries so they can volunteer to visit the sick, serve the poor, and be Christ to others. We have the lives of the saints which could be up for discussion, we have papal encyclicals to uplift our souls, why not use these resources to jump-start the faith in people around us?
We can do this. We were made soldiers of Jesus Christ at Confirmation, even if that idea is no longer taught to our young people. We are Cristeros, and armed with knowledge we can go forth and lead a rebellion of faith and return the world to the Christ the King.
Ad ramos! To the oars! Let us begin!
This article, Christ *Is* The King is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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