Worship Feast of Christ the King
Sunday, November 25, 2012
In remembrance of the Eucharistic miracle dated November 26, 1995
Christ wanted and, over and over again, He loved to be defined as a King without crown. We heard from him, through the letters of God, on several occasions: "I am your Jesus, Christ the King. I am King, without a crown. I am the King, not because I wear this crown on my head, but because I am your Messiah, your sweet Master and Redeemer. I had the crown of thorns, I bled from all sides and then ascended to the Father who proclaimed me Christ the King. I did not want to wear the crown, I tried in every way to give my heart. For me it is much more important to take my crown away and give my heart to everyone".
The only crown that He wore, the one he wanted for himself is the crown of thorns. He loved this crown, men forced it onto him to humiliate him and would not understand that from that humiliation our salvation would have streamed forth. The One whom God proclaimed King, was King in poverty, King in love, King in humiliation, truth and simplicity. With the knowledge of His Word, with an invitation to accept and live it in our hearts, always, every day, He gives us the opportunity to enter His Kingdom, to make it flourish in our hearts. Those who love Christ put into practice his teachings with simplicity; those who make him King in their own life will partly enter his kingdom already on this earth, a kingdom giving peace and shining in the soul. The kingdom whose King is Christ, He said it, is not of this world (John 18:36), but His Kingship extends from Heaven and reaches all those who are united with Him. To acknowledge Christ as King means to place oneself in the humble condition of subject, but not in the earthly meaning of the term, we are united with Him and acknowledge Him as King every time we accept His commandments, every time we do His will. Many times we heard the words: "I am King without crown"; perhaps we have not thought enough about these words. By taking off His crown, Christ does not give up His kingship, for it does not say He is not King, He says to be King without crown. The act of giving up the crown must be seen as the act of a king coming down from his throne, stripping his position as a subject to be worshiped, and he is entitled to it, and approaches his subjects to listen to them, to help them, to support them, to love them. The King of kings, God the Son, the Christ of God chose humble clothing to walk in the midst of his people and He did not take it off when ascended to the Father two thousand years ago, but kept them under the Eucharistic species so we would never be left alone. What King on earth is so close to his people to give his life and his body as saving food? The word the Romans put on the cross was meant as scorn and contempt, the scarlet robe and crown of thorns meant ridicule and humiliation, but their eyes were closed and did not recognize the one true King they would have never met. What king would have accepted such treatment other than the King of love? We must always remember what humiliation and suffering Christ agreed on in order to reopen the Paradise, to allow us to live in His peace and to enter His kingdom. A king who can be defined as such is the one who always puts in first place the welfare of his people. Christ thought of his people, He wanted to rescue them from the most cruel slavery, that of sin and He did it by sacrificing all of himself, He wanted to shed up to the last drop of his blood, he completely drank the bitter chalice of suffering for his people sake. The King of Heaven and earth was humiliated up to his death on the cross, to crucify our sins and with Him let us rise to new life in his Kingdom.
Psalm 96: Hymn to the King of the universe.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples.
For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Give to the Lord, oh families of the peoples, Give to the Lord glory and strength.
Give to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts,
oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.
Say among the nations: "The Lord reigns!" The world also is firmly established,
it shall not be moved! He shall judge the peoples righteously.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad.
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; let the field be joyful, and all that is in it,
then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord, for he is coming,
for He is coming to judge the earth; he shall judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with his truth.
Long before Christ proclaimed his royalty, it was recognized by the Magi, at the time of his birth, as they saw in that young child the King of the Jews. They immediately believed when they learned of the coming of the Messiah and offered to baby God their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Today, we too, Lord, would like to offer these same gifts.
Gold is a precious metal symbolizing royalty that was used to worship and adorn the various rulers over the centuries, is the metal that will not rust over time and may be represented by charity, the sole theological virtue that will remain after death. So today, Jesus the Eucharist and Christ our King, we offer you our charity, that is, our love must grow and flourish in our hearts for you who Were, Are and will Be forever. For us it is gold all that you have given to humanity by means of a small place that you made thaumaturgic, where the most important Eucharistic miracles in the Church history occurred. If we make good use of all the teachings received through the letters of God, we will have a priceless treasure, a treasure to be jealously guarded and that we can share and pass on to our brothers.
Frankincense is the symbol of divinity with which we recognize you as true God and true man. The Hebrew word "incense" is derived from the term "white", a term reminding us of the immaculate and sinless life of Jesus in his dual role of High Priest and Victim. It is precisely for this reason that we, as the incense rises high, we want to rise to you through prayer. We offer our big and small sacrifices that separate us from earthly goods, in order to convert and achieve the holiness that brings us to true unity in order to overcome our daily difficulties, misunderstandings and the character of each of us so that from "I" we can move to "we". The incense also represents the commitment that we must have to plan and build the road to holiness that each of us must walk by living the ordinary in an extraordinary way.
Myrrh is the symbol of Christ the King, our Redeemer, and of the grace that was given to us by His passion, death and resurrection, reaching to us through the sacraments that were handed out to help us to live in a state of grace. Myrrh was used since ancient times as perfume and purifying substance. It is a bitter herb and in its symbolism speaks to us of the sufferings of Jesus, whose whole life has been marked by persecution from the earliest childhood, misunderstandings, treachery, until the culmination with his death on the cross. It symbolizes the soul, that is what the man "extracts" from his daily experiences, day after day, from his commitment as Christian dictated by well defined and clear rules that take you to those heights, and the Gospel speaks of it, with prayer, obedience, loyalty, humility and simplicity all focused in a life based on loyalty to God and to our neighbor.
Finally, let us remind the words of our Bishop who, speaking about the Magi, gives us a great teaching: "Each of us, like the Magi, individually and as a community have to deal daily with everything with consonant and communal spirit. They did not allow diversity, controversy and conflict to part them: remained always united and solid; no one claimed to impose on the others; they talked to each other with respect and sincerity, to always search for the best solution. If it were not for this spirit of unity they would never have come together "to worship the King of the Jews". In this way the Magi lead us to understand the importance of being united: only united with love we come to Christ. If there is division there is no love, and if there is no love there is no God. No one will be lost if we remain united in love and truth. Unity, however, does not mean uniformity: actually we can achieve unity of diversity without stifling anyone's peculiarities, but exalting them in a harmonious pluralism that respects those values we must defend with personal commitment. Consider, for example, the musical notes: they are different from each other, but if well arranged on the score they create a harmonious symphony. Even the Magi have certainly discussed among them when faced with a problem to be solved, but the discussion was carried out with mutual respect; eventually the conclusion was reached in a unified manner. For this reason they did not separate; they came together before the Messiah; they did not lose any of the gifts they had. If also the families and ecclesiastic, religious and civil communities want to be united, if they do not want to lose any member, any value, they must join in Jesus' prayer "Ut omnes unum sint"; they must be tightened by love, guided by truth, sustained by grace". (You are the Mother of the Eucharist, chapter IX)