Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
It’s the end
it’s the beginning
it’s not yet
it’s a part
it’s a whole.
The journey of faith is a both-and experience. We continually encounter God in a variety of ways and God continually meets us where we are at. God invites us deeper into union with Divine Love. This ide of both-and is taught in theology and it crossed my mind as we celebrate Christ the King Sunday this weekend and move into the end of the Liturgical Year. It crossed my mind because we honor Christ the King this weekend but not with golden crowns rather with putting love into action. The opposites mentioned above as places where Christ our King meets us in this journey of faith also remind us that the kingdom is within, is here and is still to come.
Considering Christ as our King should not leave us with images of golden crowns and orders being given. It should instead call us to service, challenge us to wash the feet of others and awaken us to how we are living the Golden Rule. The gospel for Christ the King Sunday is Matthew 25 with the image of the sheep and goats and the kingdom. God invites us to encounter Christ the King by giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and visiting those imprisoned (see last week’s prayer for ideas of how real this is for us today). We encounter Christ the King here on the throne of human reality and in human suffering. He who gave his all, in love, for love of all says to us “I am here among you, the poor king, born in a lowly manger and still dwelling among the least.”
The challenge for us is to not turn our actions into gold stars, golden crowns and awards ceremony moments where we recognize our kingly moments rather, we are to humbly be like Christ our King. To serve with love in the beginnings, ends, light and darkness, partial and whole moments of life. “Christ the first fruits” (1 Corinthians 15) desires us to be one with him in the kingdom. The kingdom calls us to action, not footstools and servants at our beck and call. Let us rise up to the challenge. Where in our part of the kingdom does hospitality, care, outreach, genuine service, kindness and prayer need to be exemplified? The trying times we are currently living in are calling us to creatively be the kingdom… let us rise up to occasion honouring our gentle king, our shepherd king, our generous king, our loving king by recognizing him in our neighbourhood and communities.
As we move into this last week of the Liturgical Year, I think it calls us to look back on what has been, what has not been and how we have walked humbly with our God. Let us reflect on where our heart has called us to be and what our heart is calling us to let go of again. Let us look ahead with hope and openness seeking paths that our enroute to the kingdom transformed here and awakening us to life-giving love today, tomorrow and always.
Christ our King,
we give you thanks and praise and honor,
you who are love in fullness,
you call us to love each day:
Love of God,
love of neighbour,
love of self.
May this holy love
which is you
penetrating our living
and amplifying our hearts
open our eyes, ears, hearts and hands
to those we journey with here and now
no matter what and no matter who they are,
for your kingdom is of peace and welcome,
where we will be one
and where we will raise our voices
in thanks, praise and honour of you,
who dwells with us as our King for ever and ever.