Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King. In the twenty-first century, the idea of a monarchy is not palatable to some. Although we may have an interest in what the royal family is doing (think of all the hoopla surrounding the wedding of William and Catherine), most of us probably would not like to bring back the monarchy to the United States.
In calling Christ our King, we acknowledge that Jesus is sovereign in our minds and hearts. He is the reason for our being. We owe Christ our allegiance, our worship, and our devotion. This last Sunday of the Church year is a reminder that ultimately we will be judged by God. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians highlights the reality that Christ is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, and is the cause of all things coming to be. In short, Christ is the gate through which all creation must pass in order to encounter God.
Too often, however, we put other people in the place of Christ. We allow the opinions, attitudes or actions of those whom we admire (or conversely those we don’t respect) to color how we conduct our lives. For example, we may place more emphasis on trying to emulate our boss (or in some cases go so far as to be a sycophant) than we do on trying to follow the right path or do the right thing. We may be afraid to contradict someone whom we respect even when they are clearly wrong, because we don’t want them to think poorly of us. In other cases, we may not like a particular individual and even when they are clearly trying to follow God, our negative perception of them causes us to wear blinders and we are unable to see the good that they are doing.
There is an old saying that I remember from business: “If they like you, you can do no wrong. If they don’t like you, you can do no right.” The Good News is that the only “they” we really need to concern ourselves with is the Holy Trinity and specifically, Christ the King. Ultimately, it is Christ who will judge us at the end of time, so our primary focus should be on pleasing Him and Him alone.
As we celebrate this final week of the Church year, we should ask ourselves: Is Christ truly the king of my life? Do I put Him first in everything I do? Or have other people, possessions, or desires taken a primary place in my life?
REVEREND MONSIGNOR JOHN KASZA was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1993. He holds a B.A. in History from Wayne State University, Detroit and an Master of Divinity from Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He earned his doctorate in Sacramental Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in Rome in 1999. Msgr. Kasza has served as an assistant professor of sacramental theology, liturgy and homiletics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and has also taught at the Liturgical Institute at St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Illinois. He most recently served as Secretary to both Adam Cardinal Maida and Archbishop Allen Vigneron and was Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit. In July of 2009, Msgr. Kasza became the Academic Dean at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan. Monsignor is currently pastor of St. James the Greater parish in Novi, Michigan and has authored several articles. His book, Understanding Sacramental Healing: Anointing and Viaticum, is available through Amazon.