November 22nd – A different kind of king

Scripture reflection for the Feast of Christ the King . . .

On this last Sunday of the Church year, we celebrate Jesus as King of the Universe.  He is a king that lived poorly, chastely and obedient to the will of God, his Father.  He knew suffering, rejection, vulnerability.  He knew what it is like to be human; one of us.  We celebrate a different kind of king.

Art work by Sister Ana
Art work by Sister Ana

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus responds to Pilate’s interrogation,  “For this was I born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18: 33- 37).

And what is the truth? the Second Reading from Revelation is pretty clear about this, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood. . .” (1:5 – 8).

Jesus is the king of love and mercy.  And he has “made us into a kingdom” (Rev. 1:5-8).  This is the truth he wants us to believe in; the truth he gave his life for, so we can be the people God created us to be – loved and loving.  He is truly a different kind of king.

The events in the world just this past week from Beirut to Paris and now to West Africa, try to wear down this belief in God’s love and mercy and try to replace it with fear.  Our hope is in the Lord, “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

In our lives as Sisters of the Holy Redeemer . . .

We pause to share the events in our lives this past week and to reflect on the presence of kingdom of God; the love of God, within our experiences.

At a meeting of leaders throughout our ministries, one of our Sisters shared the reality of the many people seeking refuge at our Motherhouse in Germany and the love they receive in this safe place. She gave voice to their stories and in doing so revealed the kingdom of God.

On Tuesday, we gathered to celebrate one of our Patron Saints, Elizabeth of Hungary, a queen, who in her care of the sick and poor in her kingdom made known a greater Kingdom.  We celebrated with prayer and sharing with one another the news of our lives.

Stainglass image of St. Elizabeth at one of the Sisters' ministry sites.
Stainglass image of                        St. Elizabeth at one of                     our ministry sites.

The next evening we celebrated the 85th birthday of Sr. Sophia who continues to share the love of God with so many people throughout our ministries. So it was fitting that she shared this special day with two other women as we bade them farewell after their many years of friendship and work with us, as a Redeemer Associate and as an employee.  May they all continue to share the kingdom of God for many years.

Sophia bday and farewell

Two of our Sisters involved in our art ministry offered a  craft fair at a couple of our ministry sights this week, sharing the gifts of creativity and beauty that our world so desperately needs.  Beauty may help us to opens our eyes to the presence and the kingdom of God and open our heart to love.

craft fair

As the week comes to a close, several of us attended a funeral for the father of one of our Redeemer Associates.  The readings and the homily were all about the kingdom of God and Jesus who is our  way, our truth and our life (John 14).   We need not fear, for Jesus has prepared a place for us; a place where there is no fear, only love.

In your life . . .

The kingdom of God, is a kingdom of love.

Where there is love there is God.

God is love.

Perhaps you will want to take some time to recall your most recent experiences of love and fear. What has helped you to love (or be loved)?  What may have been the underlying causes of fear?

You may wish to share your gratitude for love with God as well as  sharing your fears.

Blessings on your week!