Jesus Christ is King of the Universe

Homily for Christ the King (Year A)
November 25-26, 2017
St. Francis of Assisi, Fisher – 5:00 PM
Sacred Heart, EGF – 7:30 AM; Holy Trinity, Tabor: 10:00 AM

Focus:              Jesus Christ is King of the Universe.
Function:        Crown him the King of your universe.

Christ on throne - Meinrad Chapter Room 1

Christ seated on his throne, ready to reward each who followed him faithfully.
Saint Meinrad Archabbey – Chapter Room
Ecce veni cito et merces mea mecum est reddere unicuique secundum opera sua. (Rev 22:12)
Behold I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.

Inside every human heart, there is a kingdom.

This kingdom has great potential. It possesses unfathomable wealth.

This kingdom has an incredible intellect that can be used to accomplish marvelous things.

This kingdom has the power to dramatically influence the lives of others.

This kingdom can be at the service of others or it can be at the service of itself. It can be a wellspring of great good or a never-ending pit of evil.

It can be a kingdom of excellence or a kingdom of mediocrity.

Inside every human heart, there is a kingdom.
Inside every heart, a battle rages for this kingdom.

A battle rages for the kingship.

Every kingdom has a king.

Who will be the king of your kingdom?
Who sits upon the throne of your heart?

We’ve been hearing a lot about the Kingdom of God in these final days of Ordinary time.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom… (MT 25:1-13, Nov 12).

The Kingdom of Heaven will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted his possessions to them…to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to a third, one. (MT 25:14-20, Nov 19).

The Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce “Look, here it is” or “Look, there it is.” For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you. (LK 17:20-25, Nov 16).

Brothers and sisters, the Kingdom of God is here and now.
The kingdom of God is among us.
It is here.

It is here because Jesus is here.
He is here in the Eucharist.
He is here in the Body of Christ which is the community of the Church.

The Kingdom of God is here even though it may be difficult to see it at times.

We have to learn to look for it.

A few summers ago, I participated in a hospital chaplaincy program in the cities. I went to the hospital every morning and visited patients, and I was on-call several nights and weekends during the summer.  For someone who likes to be in control and to know what’s coming, it was an anxiety-provoking experience.

I found my refuge each day in a nearby parish which offered adoration and daily Mass at a time that allowed me to attend before going to the hospital each day.

At the start of the summer, I was very aware of receiving the Lord in the Eucharist and then bringing him with me, in the pyx of my heart, into the hospital each day. I trusted that, through me, he was present to the patients I encountered throughout the day.

That was true.

But it wasn’t until mid-summer that I realized something else.

I realized that I was beginning to see differently.

It was as if time slowed down. As I walked by someone in the hallway, I began to see them as Jesus would see them.  I saw them as a son or daughter of the Father.  I became less focused on myself and how I could minister to them and became more focused on them.  I began to see Jesus in them.  Jesus was not only in my heart from receiving the Eucharist that day, he was also within the sick people I met each day.

That changed everything. It changed how I interacted with them.

The Kingdom of God is among us.
We have to learn to see it.

It is ready for us, but we must be ready for it.

We must decide.
Each of us must decide.
You must decide.

Inside every human heart, there is a kingdom.
Every kingdom has a king.
You must decide who will be the king of the kingdom within your heart.

Jesus Christ is the rightful king. He is the one who created you, who redeemed you, and who loves you.  He went to the Cross for you.  You are made to live with him eternally.  You are his.

Is he yours?
Is he your king?

Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe. That is certain.  That is what we celebrate today.  One day he will return again.  He will return and he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another…

He will separate them.

He will separate those who have enthroned him as the King of their Hearts from those who have enthroned someone else.

Those who have him seated on the throne of their hearts will inherit the kingdom that has been prepared for them from the foundation of the world.

Those who have themselves seated on the throne of their hearts, those who find themselves sitting on his throne when he returns, will go off into the eternal fire.

Who sits on the throne of your heart?
Who is the king of your heart?

Is it Jesus? Or is it you?
Are you wearing his crown? Are you sitting in his chair?
Or are you serving the needs of His Kingdom?

How do you know?

Brothers and sisters, we know.

We know where we compromise.
We know where we cut corners.
We know where we are stingy, where we are selfish, where we choose ourselves over others.

We know.

Matthew 25 confronts us face-to-face today.

If you want to know whether Jesus Christ is the King of your Heart, here’s the test.

For I was hungry and you gave me food.
I was thirsty and you gave me drink.
A stranger and you welcomed me.
Naked and you clothed me.
Ill and you cared for me.
In prison and you visited me. 

If Jesus Christ is the King of your heart, you see differently.

You see as he sees.
You see others as he sees them.
You see with tenderness.
You recognize others who have him as their king, and you serve him by serving them.
You recognize within others the battle raging for the kingdom…even if they don’t recognize it themselves.

The Kingdom of God is about changing how we see. It is about conversion of heart.  It is about changing from being “me-focused” to being God-focused, and since God cares for all, that leads us to care for all.

Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe.
Is he the King of your universe?

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