Christ the King, Year B

Sunday, November 25, 2018
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

All Kings have power.  Some have political power; some have military power; some just have power to sit in a castle and do whatever they want.  But Christ the King shows us the power of love.

He showed us this power most especially and strangely in his death on the cross.  The power of his love transformed this ugly death into the most beautiful act of love the world has ever seen.  So powerful that he transformed the ugliness of the cross, an instrument of torture and death, into the symbol of love.  Think about it, we see crosses all over the place today (on necklaces, earrings and even football players who score a touchdown).  But someone wearing a cross back in the time of Jesus would be like seeing someone wearing a necklace with an electric chair on it today.   The power of Jesus’ love has transformed the ugliness of the cross into a symbol of love for thousands of years.

But Christ is not the type of king that keeps the power all to himself.  No, at every mass we receive the power of his love in the Eucharist.  The same Jesus who suffered and died on the cross 2000 years ago is the same Jesus we receive at every mass.  The same love that he gave on that cross he gives to us here and now in the Eucharist.  He gives us the power of this love so that we can go out and change the world with this love.  I was reminded of this a couple times this past week.

On Thanksgiving my family gathered for our annual Thanksgiving celebration.  As my aunt describes, our family is a bit of a hot mess.  We all come from different life styles.  We all come with our brokenness and weakness and disagreements.  But it is always beautiful.  Because no matter what sort of brokenness or messiness we might be coming from, we still love each other no matter what.  That kind of love is so powerful that it overshadows any sort of differences or messiness.

Also this past week I was talking to one of our seminarians who was reflecting on his work visiting parishioners in hospitals and nursing homes.  He said the most beautiful thing he ever saw was when he visited an elderly husband and wife who were homebound.  The wife was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair and so the husband has spent his days, weeks and years taking care of her, feeding her, washing her and just generally loving her.  The seminarian said he could see all the things this man had to sacrifice but he also could see the power of his love and how it affected his wife.  So powerful was this love that it even had the power to ease her pain and suffering.  This, the seminarian said, is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.

This is the power of Christ’s kingship.  Not military or political power but the power of love.  And it is this power of love that we receive in the Eucharist.  We receive the same Lord who first showed the power of this love on the cross.  The body and blood that was given out of love on that cross is the body and blood offered here on this altar and given to us.  At this Eucharist we receive the power of this love.  A power that can change and transform our families, our communities and our lives.