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Notes from Fr. Vitalis

With Thanksgiving We Celebrate the Feast of Christ Our King


Dear Parishioners,


Today is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, Cycle A. During this year, we have lived through the various mysteries of the life of Christ. His universal sovereignty has already shown up in the events of His life, particularly in the feasts of the Epiphany, Easter, and the Ascension. During the course of celebrating this feast of Christ the King, we have been allowed to savor in a very distinct way the great encounter that takes place in Christ, i.e. the mystery of God’s Incarnation in man and of man’s transformation in the Son of God.


Today we celebrate the sovereignty of Christ, the one and eternal Son of the Father. This sovereignty extends over the whole universe; nothing is outside of His rule. It will be imposed clearly and definitively on all creatures when the Lord returns in glory at the end of time.


Most of us know little or nothing about a real monarchy except from history, and even that is a very mixed picture. There were benign kings and there were despots. We have to struggle a bit to apply the title “king” to Jesus, and even with that there is a fair amount of adapting to do. Christ does have a sway over our lives—a total sway—through the “obedience of faith.” He shapes our thinking and colors our vision—or should. We are subjects in His reign wholly because we want to be. His love has grasped us.


This is a king who was insulted by a Roman political appointee and was rejected in favor of a common criminal. He is a king who presents Himself as the Lamb who was slain. It gives us much food for thought on this feast of Christ the King. Jesus has come to reveal the Father and His plan of salvation, the supreme truth. Those open to the truth hear the word of Jesus and accept it. In doing so, they submit to the truth of God and become part of Jesus’ dominion, or kingdom. This interior adherence to Jesus in faith is unrelated to the political accusations made against Him, to which Pilate seemingly acquiesces.


Jesus’ kingdom is of a different and higher order. He looks to an allegiance of the heart and a spiritual sovereignty, which is in no way competitive with earthly power. In showing us who and what He is, Jesus simultaneously reveals what we are and what we are becoming.


This week, as our nation pauses to celebrate “Thanksgiving Day”, we recall God’s immense goodness to our country, a nation forged on the sacrifices of so many people. We take a moment to celebrate our diversity and the generosity of those who welcomed the first pilgrims. We ask God’s forgiveness for our failures, flaws and injustices.


In our prayers of gratitude, we thank God for the gift of freedom, and those who have supported us and given us a helping hand over the course of the year. It is good to stop for a moment and thank everyone in your family, friends, colleagues and faith community. It is good to renew and dedicate ourselves to God and our common destiny: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Long live Christ the King.


Happy Thanksgiving,

Fr. Vitalis Anyanike