Today we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King, the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next week, we begin a new Church Year. As this year draws to a close, it might do us well to do some personal reflection on how well we have made Christ the King of our lives. Have we put God first or did we have other gods that we “worshipped” or spent more time with? These could be social media sites, gaming, possessions, focusing on our own personal power or fortune and so on. Have we listened to the words of the Gospel and put them into practice or did we pay more attention to gossip or news or political commentary? If we truly believe Christ to be our King, were we generous and magnanimous like Christ? Did we share our time, talent, and treasure with those less fortunate? Did we visit the sick and homebound? Did we try to afford people hope and consolation? This past Thursday was Thanksgiving. Did we take time to thank God for what He has done for us during the past year?
An important component of having a King is that some time is spent in adoration and worship. In our egalitarian society, we’ve attempted to get rid of such displays and pomp and circumstance. However, because Christ is our King and not our President or Prime Minister, it is right and just that we give Him honor and worship.
As such, think about spending some time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We adore the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because we believe as Catholics that the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ are really present under the form of bread and wine in the Eucharistic species. As St. Peter said to the Lord, “It is good that we are here.” It is a good and noble thing to spend time in adoration of the Eucharistic Lord. Just as people spend time in hero worship by seeking autographs or standing in line to catch a glimpse of their favorite pop star, even more so should Catholic Christians spend a few quiet moments in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
When we contemplate the Eucharistic Lord, we do so in a spirit of humility and thankfulness. We give adoration to God, but we may also pray for the needs in our world. For this upcoming week, I would invite you to consider praying for two things: more vocations to the priesthood, religious life, permanent diaconate and lay ministry, that more men and women will have the courage to answer God’s call to serve the Church in some capacity. Since December 7th is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, also consider praying for all members of the military, deceased, retired, and active, that God will give them peace and reward them for their labor of service as well as afford them protection in time of danger. However, when you are in the presence of the Lord, simply pray and ask the Lord to fill you with His love and peace.
As you prepare for the holidays, take some time to be good to yourselves as well. Make sure that you schedule some “down time” into your day. Build into your daily routine some time for prayer and relaxation. Avoid getting too stressed about presents and decorations and cooking. Remember that Jesus came to set us free and not to create more work for us to do. Finally, take some time to enjoy life and have fun.