Monday, November 26, 2007

Christ the King

A reflection on the Feast of Christ the King, by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.

"So you are a king?"(Jn 18:37) It is Pilate who asks Jesus this question on the very day, in the thick of the greatest battle ever fought by one man alone. This one man, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the only begotten Son of God, the Prince of Peace... His first crown was not of gold, but a crown of thorns shoved on his head with scorn and mockery. "Hail King of the Jews' they cried, 'and they spat upon him and took a reed and kept striking him."(Jn 19:3-4) The battle that raged was the battle between Good and Evil.

We all know the story told in Genesis of how evil entered the world through the disobedience of Eve and then Adam. But God kept His promise of salvation and it was through another woman, Mary, in which the King entered the battle ground and took up the strong arms of obedience to God's will. He came to restore that Kingdom in which God is all in all; to restore that relationship between God as Creator and us and created. The only way to restore peace to the world is for Christ to reign.

It is the Cross that men run from as we try to make our kingdom here on earth. In response to this we hear St. Benedict say, "No, serve one another. Recognize Christ in the other." When I go out today, I find insensitivity. I find people talking on their cell phones or listening to their music. Interaction is gone. Man becomes cold. All one's attention is on a thing of metal.

Now, you may wonder how all of this fits together with our lives as Benedictines.

Benedictines are an order for the end times. We know the true King. St. Benedict in the prologue of his Rule says,"This message of mine is for you, then, if you are ready to give up your own will... and do battle for the true King, Christ the Lord." (RB prol. 3) I believe God will use the Benedictine life to teach the world to live in harmony with Christ. It is important for us to let Christ be the King of our hearts, our wills, our lives. We must have the utmost respect for the Eucharist, for there is Christ's presence.

It is for us to imitate the King. We too should live in the service of one another. We do this most especially through our obedience. If Christ attained the salvation of the world through His obedience, are we to do differently?

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