As the Church year draws to a close this week, it’s a good time for all of us to do what we tend to do on December 31st - to take a look back at the year, to think of the good times, the bad times, the things we wish we would have done differently - and then to look to the future, to what we hope this coming year will be for us.
If we were to do that in our spiritual lives, I think it would do wonders to prepare us to begin Advent next Sunday - that great Season that reminds us to make room for Jesus in our lives. The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe that we celebrate today should make us ask ourselves the question, is Jesus the King of my life?
The whole reason Jesus got himself into trouble, and ended up before Pilate in the Gospel today, was because he was perceived to be a King - THE King. Which meant that if Jesus was King, then Caesar was not - and that didn’t sit well with the Romans; if Jesus was King then the Pharisees weren’t really in charge, and that didn’t sit well with them.
How about us? If Jesus is King, then it means that you and I are not - and that doesn’t sit well with us either, cause we tend to like to wear the crown - we like to be the ones in charge of our lives, who make the decisions we want to make, the ones who rule anything and everything that happens to us - we love trying to be the masters of our own destiny.
That’s all well and good, but if we do that, then we aren’t really Christians - because Jesus isn’t really our King.
So this New Year’s week - I think we would all do well to consider 3 things if we want Jesus to really be our king. #1) We need to pray more, everyday. We need to avail ourselves of the Sacraments more, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation - without the lame excuses that keep us from surrendering our screwedupedness to our King. #2) We need to look at our lives, and order them properly - with Jesus as the First thing in everything - Jesus taking precedence over everything else, over sports, over work, over politics, over all our relationships and obligations - Jesus First, period. And lastly #3) We need to act like He is our King - and we have to love beyond measure - we have to feed the poor, welcome the immigrant, we have to be merciful and forgiving, we have to be obey His Commandments, all of them, and we have to listen to and follow His Holy Spirit.
In short, we have to give the crown back to Jesus - We have to let Him be what governs every aspect of our lives, every thought, every word, every action - that he may be our motivation and the end to which everything we do returns. And man is that all tough to do!!!
I always love the line that says if we think being a Christian is easy then we aren’t doing it right. No matter what our past has been my brothers and sisters, let’s use this sacred time - today, right here, right now, to begin anew and to commit ourselves to getting it right this coming year. God help us all. +