This week, Deacon Lyn hit another home run with his homily on the Solemnity of Christ the King. One parishioner described it as the perfect explanation of the nature of Jesus Christ, and the Franciscan theology of the Incarnation ("If man had never sinned, would Christ still have become man?"). Enjoy!
11/26/2017 THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
Let me begin by giving a History of this feast day- it might give you an understanding that you didn’t expect. This Feast is very new in our tradition - only about 60 yrs. The thought began 1920 after WW1, when all the rulers in Europe self-destructing one another, all in the name of religion, it seems, & the church realized needed a bigger pattern here. They needed something to hold Christian civilization together. They realized most of Christian understanding was based on what I’ll call Plan B. Plan B is what most of us grew up with, that it all starts with a big “mistake”. Which is a terrible way to start history. That Adam and Eve ate the apple & that got us off to a very terrible beginning & so God has to send his son into the world to redeem the whole thing & turn it around. This is really plan B. Saying that our history begins with a mistake & all Jesus is in effect a mop-up exercise correcting supposed Adam & Eve’s fault.
A much broader view & bigger view found definitely in the scriptures and for some reason not noticed & it’s quite different. It is revealed in 2nd reading told us that this Christ is the Alpha and Omega. These are the 1st and last letters on the Greek alphabet. And there has be a correspondence between how the universe started and where it is going. A connection, a direction and plan A says that direction and meaning was set from the very beginning and didn’t start with a problem. It started with a blueprint called Logos. The first idea in the mind of God. If you will. Logos is identified in John as Jesus the Christ. Beginning and end.
Notice the official name of the feast is Christ, the king of the universe. Getting to a universal understanding of what is going on. What is this thing called history, what it means and come from and where is it going. Here is the way that they prepared it. Said 1st idea, the alpha of history is that God wanted to materialize. To be mater. God, who is spirit, shapeless, formless, wanted to take form. That’s plan A. That this material universe reveals the invisible God. That is what it means for the Christ to be the King of the universe. Maybe we need to actually use the Pattern, the first revelation of what is going on, the inner DNA of everything. Because we were still preoccupied with Kings, we used, “the King of the Universe.” But as we saw in the Gospel Jesus rejects the title, he says that is not what I am about. Jesus says, “Come you blessed by my Father, Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from foundation of the World.” I was hungry you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me a drink, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Whatever you did for someone else you did to me.” You served me by serving others. He is saying, I just came to reveal this big truth, not to be a king in your worldly sense.
So the Christ, is not the same as Jesus, Christ is not Jesus’s last name. Don’t be shocked, & don’t be scandalized, & don’t think I have lost my faith. Jesus has only existed 2000 yrs. The Christ, Logos, the king of the universe, the pattern of all things, has existed according to our understanding of the universe for 14.6 billion years. Called the Big Bang. That is when God from our science, the best we know, decided to show God’s self. That’s the incarnation, the alpha point of God. We are the first people that ever had a name for it. We call it “the Big Bang” That God decided to materialize & of course now our telescopes can now reveal that this universe is still expanding. 14.6 billion yrs. ago- it is still moving outward. The Christ is still unfolding.
What we do know is that the Alpha and Omega is the same thing. That what God revealed as Plan A the Christ, to reveal who God is in the universe, in creation, in humanity, in everything that exists on this planet and all planets, right now, is a revelation of the Mystery of God.
I hope you realize we are inside of something very sacred, very beautiful, and inherently holy, we don’t make it holy, it already is. We are the “in between” the Alpha & Omega the eternal Christ, the king of the universe. Jesus doesn’t come to proclaim any kind of domination or warrior status or control of history. He simply says as king of the universe I am naming the deepest meaning of history and the deepest meaning of humanity. That is why in a moment of time and a moment of history the eternal Christ mystery came as a person we call Jesus. We are a religion that dares to believe that. Maybe we need to ask ourselves if we really believe that. It is pretty hard to believe. Can we really believe one pretty ordinary man born in a town in Palestine is the eternal blueprint of what God is doing. That’s a big act of faith. Maybe that is why Jesus asked Pilate, “Do you believe this of yourself or others told you of this?” Maybe we have to ask the same question, “Are we just here because others told you that you should be Catholic or Christian, that you should believe this? Or do you really believe that the Christ reveals what is happening all the time and everywhere? Then even in You and even Now. This is the best, biggest and deepest understanding of the feast of Christ the King of the Universe.