NOVEMBER 20, 2016
I went to an open air music concert this week. Thousands of people, very young, filled the park. Their main star was a Korean who is not only a music singer but a famous actor too. Many fought hard to get to the front line to touch their idol. Then I remember 2 months ago, the royal family came to Canada. People flew from Newfoundland to Victoria to see the young Prince and Princess. Last month our Prime Minister visited Medicine Hat. Thousands of people gathered to greet him. The next day one man proudly told me that he shook hands with the Prime Minister.
We live in a “pop” culture. We love our celebrities, music stars, movie stars, sports stars, and political stars. You can see people easily fill up a stadium for a sports game or for a concert but hardly ever see our church overflowing. Some of us even worship idols. When our idol dies, sometimes by overdose, or suicide, we cry, we mourn and some end their own life along with their star. On the Feast of Christ the King I wish our Christians realize that they are “royal.” They belong to the King’s family. Christians are “celebrities.”
On December 11, 1925, when instituting the feast of the Kingship of Christ, Pope Pius IX insisted upon the duty of Catholics to fight bravely for the rights of God by proclaiming Christ's kingship over states and nations. He wrote, "The annual and universal celebration of the feast of the kingship of Christ is very much calculated to fix people's attention on, and remedy in some way, the public revolt from Christ that may be traced to secularism to the great ruin of society. While nations insult the sweet name of our redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we ought all the more loudly to acclaim it, and all the more universally affirm the rights conferred on him by his royal dignity and power... We earnestly hope that the feast of the kingship of Christ, which in future will be observed yearly, may hasten the return of society to our loving Saviour.
"It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. If the faithful would generally understand that it is their duty to fight bravely and continually, under the banner of Christ, their King, then with apostolic zeal, they would endeavour to win over to our Lord those who are estranged from him or know him not, and would endeavour to maintain his rights intact."
In the Gospel this Sunday the King on the cross still showed his mercy for a criminal and promised him paradise. His followers around the world are trying to show him to the less fortunate by their works of mercy. I witnessed religious and lay people deliver free lunch boxes to patients in the hospitals. They also set up a restaurant nearby that charged 15 cents for a breakfast, dinner or supper. I saw bread boxes by the sidewalks, like newspaper boxes in Canada with a sign: “It’s free. Take one loaf if you need it.” I saw fresh water tanks along the streets for the thirsty. I didn’t dare to drink it since there was only one plastic cup tied to the container by a wire for everyone to use. People don’t mind as long as they have cold and fresh water to quench their thirst!
The King is still at work! Are we proud of him? Our royal family around the world eagerly exercises his kingship by serving our wretched brothers and sisters. Viva King Jesus!