This Sunday, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. Advent begins next Sunday, December 1, and we once again prepare to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, the source of all love and mercy.
What happens when we let Jesus be King of our lives? When we let Jesus reign in our heart, mind and soul, we are changed forever (see this Sunday’s Mass readings, 2 Samuel 5:1-3; Psalm 122; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43). To let Jesus Christ reign in our life is a decision that we make, by God’s grace, not just once in our life, but each moment of every day – and so we persevere in turning to Him (grace is a share in God’s divine life, His divine power). We embrace the grace of God in prayer, in His Church, Word, Sacraments, Commandments and Teachings, in His Communion of Saints, in living the virtues of faith, hope and love, and in spiritual and corporal works of mercy that God calls us to do, in our love for God and love for our neighbor (see Matthew 25:31-46; Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2447).
Jesus is the King of peace, joy and love. He is the King of all, the Only Savior of the world – therefore, when we give ourselves to Him, we experience a joy and a peace that the world cannot give nor take away from us. “Why, then, do so many people not know Him?” Saint Josemaría Escrivá once asked, “Why do we still hear that cruel protest: ‘We do not want Him to reign over us?’” – there are many people in the world who reject Jesus Christ in this way, for they do not know Jesus Christ, the beauty, truth and goodness of His Church, His Word (the Bible and Catechism) and Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and His life-affirming, life-giving Teachings. “This sad state of affairs,” Saint Josemaría said, “makes me want to atone to our Lord. When I hear the endless clamor – expressed more in ignoble actions than in words – I feel the need to cry out, ‘He must reign!’”
To have Jesus Christ reign as King in our lives, we must be humble and consistent. We start by giving Jesus our heart – praying every day, asking for His grace, being faithful to Him, and turning away from sin, selfishness and pride. To witness to the Kingdom of Christ means that we conform our heart to His, and that we invite others to know and love Him.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray to renew our commitment to letting Jesus Christ reign in our life, to loving God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with all our being, and to loving our neighbor as ourselves. Whatever our vocation (married, single, priest, religious), Jesus Christ calls each of us to holiness, to live our life in Him, to allow Him to reign in our life, in all our thoughts, words and deeds. May we receive the love of God into our hearts and be open to His grace so that we can respond to His call to proclaim, as instruments of His love and mercy, that Jesus Christ is King and He must reign!
With peace and prayers in Jesus Christ the King,