This Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of Christ the King. We’re also in the last week of the liturgical year, and so we are reminded of the last things; Jesus will come again in glory and power.
This Sunday’s Readings:
In the first reading, Daniel prophesies that One like a Son of man is coming and he will receive dominion and kingship which will last forever and all people and nations will serve him. The Book of Revelation speaks of Jesus Christ who freed us from our sins by his own blood and has made us into his kingdom. He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and is to come, the Almighty.”
In the Gospel we see Jesus, the King of Kings, being judged by Pilate. In his response to Pilate he says, “You say I am a king. For this was I born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” It isn’t included in this Gospel, but Pilate replies, “What is truth?”
“What is truth?” This is a question for time.
Do we really want to know the truth about how God wants us to live our lives on this earth? There is an objective truth based upon natural law and on the law of God given to us by way of His revelation and His Church. We live in a time when the majority of the people live as if there is no objective truth. They believe they can decide for themselves the truth which they chose to live by.
In the 1950s there was a television program called Truth or Consequences. It became so popular that a town in New Mexico was named after it. These words have much meaning. If we do not live by the truth as God has revealed it, there will be consequences – and we can see those consequences all around us. Is there anyone who does not believe there has been a moral decline in our country in the past fifty years? Fifty years ago, over 70% of the population in this country worshiped God every weekend; now it is closer to 25%. The largest religious denomination in this country is inactive Catholics. There are more Catholics who are inactive than those who are active; that is going to Mass every weekend and being involved in the life of their parish. Further, much of what is currently called music and entertainment is not only immoral, it is degrading to the dignity of humanity. It appears things will be getting worse before they get better.
In today’s Gospel Jesus said, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” To listen to Jesus is not only to hear the Gospel; it’s to belong to the Gospel, to the truth. To belong to the truth is to allow the truth of God’s revelation in the Scriptures and the Church to shape our lives. If our faith does not influence all of the important decisions we make, then we are not truly Christian.
Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. This is a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus. Jesus did not only come into the world at his birth in Bethlehem 2000 years ago which we celebrate each Christmas. He will come again in glory in a time unknown to us; for which he wants us to be prepared. The way to prepare is to invite him into our lives everyday, throughout the day, by opening up our hearts to him. He wants a personal relationship with us that we develop through a commitment to daily prayer, living the sacramental life, reading the Scriptures and being faithful to his revelation. In Mass, he comes to us in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine. In this sacrament and the other sacraments of our Church – along with her teaching authority and the Scriptures – we have all we need to belong to the “Truth” which is Jesus Christ, Our King and Our Savior. The consequence of belonging to the “Truth” is to reach our potential for happiness now, and for all eternity.