by Fr Joachim Robert
Theme: Christ the Lamb is the King
As we celebrate Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Universal King or the Feast of Christ the King, we are reminded that the liturgical year has come to this close and the mystery of Christ being revealed to us continues to grow deeper and deeper as we move on to Year C. It closes the Liturgical Year B so that we can begin yet another liturgical year.
And the celebration of Feast of Christ the King is a reminder that God is our Lord and King, and he is the King of the Universe. And if we allow God to reign in our lives, if we allow God to have lordship over our lives, then my dear friends, we are always looking forward towards eternity so that we are able to find ourselves in God. And the celebration of this Feast highlights that our choices that we make in life is important because every choice that we make, every decision that we make has its consequences. And this Feast is a reminder that we need to aim for heaven, we need to allow the lordship of Jesus to take control and to take charge of us.
Every day, dear friends, we make choices, choices that continue to build us or continue to move our whole orientation of life. And sometimes we make decisions by how we feel – we like to do something, we do. But some decisions or some choices that we make, we need to ask ourselves – Is it the best thing to do for me? And whenever you ask that question, dear friends, you also need to answer that question by having the eternity in mind. And the restlessness that we have in our hearts whenever we make those choices, sometimes hurts us, sometimes stirs us to move in a different direction all together. And you know, you and I make choices that sometimes that we are proud of. Sometimes we make choices that can be foolish, and decisions that we make with these choices that we make can lead us astray.
So our choices that we make need to allow us to choose for God, because dear friends, if we choose for God, you draw yourselves to God and you draw others to God. But if your choices lead you astray or lead you away from God, in the same way, you lead others also away from God.
But, dear friends, even though we make the right decision in the orientation of our lives or we make the wrong decision, the Lord continues to love us. And if we look at the reading of the day, especially the Gospel, we have Jesus and we have Pilate. And Jesus says,
“Mine is not a kingdom of this world.”
And Jesus asks us, dear friends, to aim for that eternity, to follow him in the way that he has showed to us. Because he has made a choice for you and I.
And today as we celebrate World Youth Day, I would like to remind you, dear young people, that God has made a choice for you because each one of you are beautiful in the eye of God. Whether young people or all of us here, we need to be reminded that you are made in the image and likeness of God. Because of the goodness that God has placed in your heart, God wants you to glow, God wants you to shine. And whenever we choose for God, dear friends, we allow the goodness of God to shine more and more brightly and we lead others together toward that light of Christ by declaring Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, by declaring Jesus as Lord of the Universe because he is our everything. With our whole being we are called to follow him.
But sometimes the choices we make may not be of God. In the same way of how it is expressed in the Gospel too, as well as Pilate. Pilate too chose or made his choice by looking at the worldly values and after looking at the worldly values, he made an option because of popularity, because of prestige and because it was not the truth. And he did not want to confront the truth. But Jesus, even though he was treated unfairly, he was obedient to the Father’s will, wanting to do only what the Father’s will is. And even though he was treated unfairly, he chose to love. The choices that he made stamped from this option or choice of loving God and his neighbour.
In the same way, dear friends, you and I are called to do the same. You and I are called to be like Jesus, to stamp our action, our choices, from the love that we have for God. Because whenever we do that, dear friends, we continue to shine and glow and become polished as well.
In our community, dear friends, in every aspect of our community life, whenever we are faced with situations like Pilate in today’s Gospel, when we choose to choose the way of the world by not confronting the issues that are there, by being self-focused, by being a person who puts others down, sometimes we do not allow people to have that opportunity to flourish. In those situations, dear friends, we are called to be reminded that God still loves us. But those opportunities, dear friends, highlights to us that there are areas in our lives that we need to grow, there are areas in our lives that we need to allow the King of the Universe to reign. And we need to make choices that is with God. The choices that we make with God leads us to grow in love, to show our love and to mature in love. And we pray, dear friends, just as Jesus says,
“Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this:
to bear witness to the truth and all who are on the side of the truth listen to my voice.”
And as we celebrate this Feast, dear friends, it is an opportunity for us to listen to the voice of Jesus and to follow the path of love. And as we continue with the Eucharist, let us ask the Lord to strengthen us, to strengthen us in this capacity for love towards others, this capacity to show love and compassion towards others because that is the path that Jesus has called us to bear witness. And we pray, dear friends, as young people we too may continue to realise that God is the center of our lives and God has made a choice for each and every one of us. If God has made a choice for you, if God has put goodness in your heart, let us continue to cooperate with his grace and shine together with him.
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