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Dec 05th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Nov 22, 2009 - Sunday Meditation on the Feast of Christ the King! (How to Win the War?)
Nov 22, 2009 - Sunday Meditation on the Feast of Christ the King! (How to Win the War?) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Friday, 20 November 2009 15:20

We are called on today to honor Christ the King . . . Unlike the kings of earthly kingdoms who rightly expect their loyal subjects to die for them and their nation, if need be, our King, Christ, died for us in order to make us free citizens of his kingdom. What Christ expects is not that we should die for him but we should live for him. – The Rev. Msgr. James J. Loughnane



E ditor’s Note: The Rev. Msgr. James J. Loughnane, P.A., V.F., is the pastor of the St. Denis Catholic Community of Diamond Bar, California. To read more about St. Denis Catholic Community, please click on this link,

Solemnity of Christ the King
Daniel 7:13-14
Revelation 1:5-8

J ohn 18:33-37 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are  you the King of the Jews?" (34) Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"  (35) Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?" (36) Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world." (37) Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the  world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."

Meditation by John O'Connor OP
How to Win the War

It is possible to win all the battles and yet in a certain sense lose the war. I've come to see this, but it has taken me a long time.

I remember as a teenager causing a family row because I wanted to watch a film that no one else wanted to see. I got my way, and sort of enjoyed the film. But, even safe in the bosom of a loving family, there was a price to pay, the aftermath of a small family dispute. Was all the fuss and bother worth it? The film was good, but I can barely remember it now. Memories of the dispute remain, however, much stronger. Like so many trivial battles, when one is caught up in the whirl of it, it seems so important. But once one takes a step back, the victory seems so very small.

It is easy to think of dominant people as victorious. They get what they want pretty much all the time. Lives are carefully constructed for personal convenience. But this hides the price that usually has to be paid. The price is love, whether the ability to love or the condition of being loved. People tend to avoid those who always insist on their way; family members visit out of a sense of duty. And even if dearly loved, there is not the same trust, the same desire to be in their company, that there would have been otherwise. That counts as a loss, a serious loss. It is a loss that is usually not recognised. After all, haven't they got everything they want? But it is possible to win all the battles and yet lose the war. There is a kind of loss in the midst of all the victories, victories that in the end of the day rarely amount to much.

In the meeting of Pilate and Jesus, we have the encounter of the representative of Imperial Rome with Christ the Universal King. To speak of Christ as Universal King is, among many other things, to be reminded that while there is a kind of kingship that is built on power and domination, true kingship, that of Christ, is not like that. But unless we flesh that out in some way it can all too easily come across as a cliché, and fail to communicate the profound truth at its centre.

A good way to enter into the mystery of the nature of the Kingship of Christ is to reflect as best we can on the nature of power as it actually works in reality. Think about our own lives, or, more dramatically, about the lives of some of the important figures of history. Did their finery or the deference shown them really give true peace or happiness? Or was it more an attempt to quieten never-ending desires? To ask questions like these is not to adopt a strategy to make us feel better about our meagre state. It is to ask challenging questions about what is important to us, where our priorities should be, and what it is to be truly human.

So the Feast of Christ as Universal King is, among other things, a reminder of a deep truth about our lives, about where true happiness is to be found and where it is not to be found. When Christ says that his kingdom is not of this world, he is not only telling us that to put our trust in power and domination is emptiness and folly, he is also presenting us with an alternative. The alternative is love. That may sound trite, and it can be presented as trite, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Of course, this is something that is not always easy to see. It can be so much easier to acknowledge the Kingship of Christ in our daily lives more on our lips than deep in our hearts. I suspect most of us are like that at times, if we're honest about it.

But when we take a step back from our lives, when we reflect and pray, isn't there a a sense deep down about where true happiness is to be found and where it is not to be found? It may be a sense that the rough and tumble of life may try to drown out, that we may even try to extinguish, but it is a sense that refuses to go away.

It refuses to go away because it speaks of a profound reality about God's plan for us. We may not always perceive it, but if we reflect on what true victory and power really are, as revealed in the loving Kingship of Christ, we can see that there is a kind of victory that makes such complete sense that we might well wonder why we so often fail to see it.

Supplementary Reading

. . . love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:10

My husband does small deeds that make our bond grow stronger. I remember when we were just married and didn’t have a car, he would wait for me at a bus stop, sometimes for hours, just so we could ride home together for the rest of the way. He would remember to greet me on our “month-sary” twice — on the wedding and the “going steady” dates. He’d scribble for me small love notes and I’d reciprocate them.

It’s like that with Jesus. He shows me bits of His love that solidifies my relationship with Him. He’d give me a parking space at a crowded mall. A check I lost is found after I say a short prayer. The fish in our pond died but, after a few days, we discovered fingerlings in the same pond. We grieved over the loss of our pet African lovebirds that were ravaged by cats but, after a week, we caught a parrot trapped in our house.
I take all these as His way of saying “I love you.” And I’ll say the same to Him… forever. -- Donna España


Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails. (1Corinthians 13:7)

Teach me, Father, to love as Jesus loved! Amen.

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O Theos Na Mas Evlogisi!
PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 22 November 2009 11:58

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