November 20, 2022
What happened to it? In our world, evil often seems king, causing so much suffering. But the Cross of Jesus sheds a light of hope on what we are living.
- The deceptive son of perdition.
- What is restraining him?
- Proclaiming himself to be God.
- The Victory of the Lord.
- Encouragement and hope.
This is a computer-generated transcription that has been included to make the homily searchable. It has not been verified by the author.
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said He saved others let him save Himself. If He is the chosen one, the Christ of God. Even the soldiers jeered at Him, if you’re the king of the Jews save yourself. Above Him there was the inscription that read, this is the king of the Jews. One of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus saying, aren’t you the Christ? Save Yourself and us. I think it’s providential that today as we celebrate 21st anniversary of our little MDM that we have this Gospel of the Crucifixion. Put yourself in that crowd. That Friday at Jerusalem would Jesus have seemed to you like the great king, that you had been expecting like people have been expecting for centuries. The great, triumphant victorious king, that your people had been waiting for a king just about to enter into His Kingship. It would seem like where is His Kingship?. And the authorities the soldiers the thief there the crowd the mob, Jesus’ Kingship seem like a joke. And that question comes back to us today. Where is His Kingship? Where’s Christ’s Kingship? When today we often see Christianity seeming to retreat, sometimes seeming just to crumble. society becoming more pagan, and even some of the most fundamental truths of our society are being called into question. And even countries that had been very strongly Catholic just not long ago, like Ireland, or seemed to become pagan almost overnight. And even in the Church, we see terrible corruption and division and confusions and a widespread weakness of faith many, many leaving the Church. I think, that statistic I’ve heard that for every one person who’s entering the church, at least, I guess I don’t know if it’s the whole world or our country, but there’s six persons leaving, which is a terrible statistic. Thankfully, there are pockets of renewal, hopeful pockets. But many Christians, many Catholics are losing their confidence in their faith. And many are turning to the world for guidance and truth. So where is His Kingship? It’s kind of jarring on this Feast of the Kingship of Jesus, Jesus as King of the universe, to have this Gospel which puts us back at the Cross at the Crucifixion. But we need, we need to look at the Cross, we need to come to the Cross to understand what we are living today. Because for us Christians the Cross seems very familiar to us. We see it as Christians, we see it all the time. But when we are living it ourselves, we often don’t realize that we’re living it. And we don’t understand what’s happening in our lives. When people are suffering when people are, ill often when I’ve been called to give the Sacrament of the Sick to people and that’s one of the fruits of the Sacrament of the Sick is a union, a union with Jesus and His redemptive suffering. And so, people often tell me that it helps them understand what they’re going through in a very different way, because they just saw it as an illness that they wanted to get rid of, and it’s good to be healed. But now they realize that there’s a deeper sense. And when we’re living disappointment and pain, darkness, heartbreak, we often don’t realize how we’re sharing in the Cross of Jesus, and not just His physical suffering on the Cross, but before that, there was His agony, interior suffering at Gethsemane.
And with the suffering of Jesus, there’s the suffering of his mother, which is not, first of all physical suffering, but which is compassion, which is also destroying her heart. So, it’s not just physical suffering, but it’s often also interior suffering. And so, when we are living, the suffering today the Cross sheds a lot of light on what’s happening to us. Because even though in these situations God often feels absent, and the words of Jesus, My God, My God, why have You abandoned me we can feel that we can feel, where is God? Where is this kingship? And yet this mystery, the Cross helps us to understand that there’s a hidden secret. Often in war, armies use camouflage to hide what they are doing. And here there’s also a hidden strategy. Because in the Cross, which seems like complete defeat, God’s mysterious strategy is being worked out. The Cross seems like defeat, but in reality, it is the path to certain victory of God’s love and mercy. It is the path to glory. Like the people in the Gospel, our idea of kingship is often very, very human. And what we want is Jesus in our lives is also often very human. Like His disciples, His disciples right up to the Cross, still had a very human idea of his Kingship. But His Kingship is not like a human kingship, which is just for a time. But his Kingship is the Kingship forever. And not just for one country, but for all the universe. And not a superficial kingdom that’s imposed by force, but a kingdom that goes to the depths of the human heart. And not a destructive kingdom, like so many human kingdoms, but a liberating, beatified kingdom. As St. Paul says, God chose through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, making peace by the Blood of His Cross, not a king who brings about bloodshed like so many kings. But a king whose own blood brings peace. So far, a kingdom, this great this powerful human means that we’re used to are not enough and Jesus chose a whole different path, a path of humility, of being stripped of emptying himself a path of faith and hope, that our Blessed Mother and the disciples had to hold on to a path of sacrifice, sacrificial love. And St. John in his great revelation of the Apocalypse, that’s why he’ll see a lamb. He’ll see the heaven dominated by this lamb, which had been sacrificed, but which is now living in triumph. And I’ll come back a little bit later to that scene. But so, the key point that I want to make today on this feast of Christ the King which is also by God’s providence, our anniversary, is that in our suffering today, we are sharing in the Cross of Jesus. And the Cross is even if it doesn’t seem like that is actually the path to His Kingship to His victory to His glory. Christ is the King. from eternity to eternity. He is King and all dominion is His. All power is His. All authority is His. He is King over-all, over-all time, over all creation. He is King and He will purify and cleanse His house. He will crush all imposters, seducers evil doers who have betrayed His name, and His children. He will destroy the snakes the dragons, the demons, who, like a terrible infestation have invaded His sanctuary, feted corrupt, causing so much illness among his little ones, Jesus Christ reigns. And who can dispute His right? No one, no one, no one. His enough, puts an end to all things. His enough will thunder over all creation. But first, and this is very mysterious. He brings forth as a doctor treating an infected wound. He brings forth all the filth, he allows the enemy to reveal himself more and more. That’s what we’re seeing today. Uncovering His plans, bringing it forth into the light that it may be revealed before his children. That he might then destroy all the enemy’s words. Jesus is King. He reigns He is the conqueror. All power and judgment have been given to Him. And it will be terrible wrath on those who have obstinately rejected Him and persisted in evil, hurting so terribly God’s children. But he offers infinite mercy to all, as He said to Saint Faustina, the greater the sinner, the greater the right to my mercy. And we have a striking example in the Gospel today. When we know that sometimes we can be patient to a certain extent, but when, when the pain gets too hard, and we get worn out, we often lash out. And so certainly Jesus, when He is on the Cross the situation which anybody would scream out in anger and rage, but what do we see, at that most vulnerable moment? When a sinner a criminal, says to Jesus on a cross Dismas, “Jesus remember me when You come into Your kingdom?” He’s asking Jesus to think about him, even though Jesus is suffering so much. And Jesus doesn’t say, Well, you know, you can imagine all the things that we would say in that situation. But Jesus says to him, “Amen, I say to you, today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” And so, Christ, the King is the King of Mercy, Who offers us mercy for our sins, and wants us also be instruments of His mercy for others. And this is the reason for our little Mission of Divine Mercy that we have here. Our little mission is one of the little mustard seeds, as the Gospel says, a little mustard seed, a little one of the little instruments of God’s mercy that He planted right here in the Texas Hill Country, right here with you all, could have been someplace else, that He wanted this little mission to be right here. And our path the path of this mission has been a path of humility, humiliation, often feeling stripped and emptied a path of often of the desert. Those who have been living here working here for a long time know this, a path sometimes of extreme trials of faith and trust and hope. A daily path built on sacrifice. But that is the path to His Kingdom. And in a couple of days our country will be celebrating Thanksgiving. And this day, the word, the word Eucharist means Thanksgiving. And this, anniversary is an opportunity for us to give thanks to all those who have made this mission possible. All of you have made this mission possible and so many others of our hardworking sacrificing staff of our Amici Christie, of our family of the volunteers that helped this mission, keep on going. All the benefactors, friends, members of our little Bethany Association, who have helped us walk this path during these very challenging years that we in our Church and our country in our world are living. So, it’s a thanksgiving for all of you, and all those who have been part of this mission. And above all, it’s a thanksgiving to Jesus Christ, the King of Mercy. Sometimes I get pretty mad at Him, because He seems to be taking a long time. And so, sometimes we don’t understand why He does things and why He lets things be so hard. You know, I’ll tell you a little story that we’ve heard so many times. So many times, this, like, a workman will come to work on something here with the plumbing or electricity or septic or computer system or gate or housing. And they’ll say, you know, it’s funny. I’ve never had so many problems in my jobs, things have never been so difficult. And we say welcome to the mission. That’s, that’s the path of the mission. I mean, sometimes God makes things happen. But a lot of times it’s a battle. And anyone who’s been here at the Mission knows that if we don’t like to tell that to our volunteers, because they might not want to come. But because what is God teaching us that it’s not so much human activity, but that the mission is built, not so much on human work that’s important, we need that. But it’s built above all, the cross, following Jesus on the cross, and all the faith, and hope and sacrifice, and patience, that goes into that. So again, in conclusion, just to recall the key point, that in the suffering that we’re going through today, we are sharing His Cross. And the Cross even though the Cross seems, destruction and defeat, but when we live it with Jesus, when we live it with our Blessed Mother, it is actually the path to the victory of His kingdom. And so with our Blessed Mother, with all the saints and angels with the holy souls in purgatory, this Eucharist is a chance for us also to offer our own sacrifices, our efforts to continue trusting that continue believing that continue hoping to offer all of that to Jesus, as part of His, the building of His Kingdom. And to end I want to just read you, as I said, I would come back to that vision that John has, of the Lamb. And in the book of Revelations, because think of that, the Lamb is not the image would choose, as an image of victory and power, right? That’s kind of the last thing you would choose, if you wanted to manifest victory and power. But it’s because Jesus because the lamb represents sacrifice, but the power of His sacrificial love is infinite. And that’s what’s expressed in this vision, and I’ll end with this. So, this is John, in Chapter Five of the Book of the Apocalypse. They sang a new song saying, so this is the saints in heaven. Worthy are you to take the scroll and open its seals. They’re singing this to Lamb, for you were slain. And by your Blood, You ransomed men for God, from every tribe, and tongue and people and nation. And you have made them a kingdom, and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth. Then I looked and I heard around the throne, and the living creatures and the elders, the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads, a myriad is 10,000. So, a myriad of myriad would be 100 million. So this is a lot of angels, numbering, myriads of myriads, and 1000s of 1000s, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power, and wealth, and wisdom, and might and honor and glory and blessing. And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all they’re saying to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb. Be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever The four living creatures said Amen and the elders fell down and adored Him. Amen
KEYWORDS / PHRASES:
Luke 23: 35-43
Revelations Chapter 5
Kingship of Christ