King of Hearts, King of the Universe

Praise be to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!

The Feast of Christ the King, which we celebrate today, is a fairly recent addition to the liturgical calendar.  It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925.  The encyclical Quas Primas (On the Feast of Christ the King), explains the reasons for establishing this great feast and explains the different aspects of Christ’s kingship.  Pius XI realized that secularism was beginning to poison the hearts of the faithful and that more than ever, people were giving things other than God primacy in their lives.  His message is unfortunately relevant to the current state of society as well.

We are constantly reminded of the fact that God’s plans and man’s plans are often as different as night and day.  This is especially true for the idea of kingship.  Jesus blew the Israelite idea of kingship out of the water, and for that many of them rejected Him.  Jesus is the ultimate servant leader.  He lived in poverty and died the death of a criminal.  He was exalted through the ultimate sacrifice; his throne is one of suffering.  His crown was a crown of thorns.

This part of Quas Primas stuck out to me: “He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his “charity which exceedeth all knowledge.” And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ.”(7)

Jesus longs to reign as king of your heart.  While most of us don’t worship other gods today, there are more subtle idols we worship every day – money, sex, popularity.  What has a hold of your heart and is keeping you from giving it fully to the King of hearts?

Let Yourself Be Pursued

Discernment is mostly passive.

A friend passed this nugget of wisdom onto me a few weeks ago and I’ve been mulling over the implications ever since.

Discernment is mostly passive.  God asks us to wait in prayerful silence, learning to listen to His voice.  God always initiates and we need to let him pursue us.

Let yourself be pursued.

Once he initiates something, we are asked to respond and take action.  In every day and every decision, ask, “how does God want me to respond?”

One passage which I believe perfectly exemplifies this can be found in John 9.  Jesus heals a blind man and the particulars of this healing are a great indication of how God works.  When questioned as to how he was healed, the man in this story replies:   “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.”

Jesus placed mud on the man’s eyes, but then the man had to wash it off himself in order to be healed.  Jesus initiated the necessary ritual but the man had to make a choice to believe Jesus was who He said He was.  God initiates but through free will, we have the choice whether to respond and in what way.

Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” (John 9:39)  Allow yourself to be blinded to God’s bigger plan and learn to see with the eyes of faith.

Lord, let my heart be in a constant state of contemplation and adoration.