While each of us may struggle as individuals to believe this to be true of ourselves, this conviction lies at the heart of the Christian faith (and at the center of this Sunday’s feast, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe). Everything we do and believe together as a Church is built around the faith that the God who made the universe, who set the stars in motion, is also the God who so desperately wants to be involved in each of our lives that he chose to enter into our human condition, to pitch his tent among us in the Incarnation. The Incarnation of Christ is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us and desire to be involved in our lives.
Saint Ignatius suggests that to really get this, we should try to imagine God looking down at the world in the time just before the Incarnation. Looking at the world, God sees men and women, adults and children, rich and poor, weak and powerful, some being born, some dying, some laughing and some in tears, some feeding one another and some killing one another, so many people full of despair, so many people searching for love and for any sense of meaning in this world. Moved with love and compassion for each one of us, for our struggles and our pain and our search for meaning through all the darkness and confusion, God decides that there is only one thing to be done—God the Son must become human to save the whole world and everyone in it. God decides to break the power of evil and make all things new in Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. And so begins the greatest adventure story ever told.
This last Sunday of the liturgical year provides us with an opportunity to take stock of how we are doing, to reflect on God’s vision for the world, and to evaluate our own involvement in it. Next week the Church year begins again with Advent, when we prepare to celebrate the birth of the King. This week we proclaim who Christ is as King: a king who rules as a shepherd; who looks after and cares for the lost, the strayed, the injured; who is present in all the world’s hungry, naked, imprisoned, neglected, lonely, brokenhearted people. But here’s where it comes back to us. If Christ the King is going to have any kind of kingdom, then we have to build it. Like the King, we have to give ourselves away in concrete acts of love toward concrete people. But if we do, then we will hear the King say to us, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” That’s a pretty amazing promise, isn’t it?
Take Your Next Step:
Spend some time this week trying to see the world through God’s eyes. Try to imagine the love and compassion that God feels in looking on the world’s joys and sufferings, in seeing all the different ways people treat one another. How do you feel as you try to imagine the world through God’s eyes? Imagine how God feels in looking at the pain and struggles in your own life. Ask God to show you the concrete ways he is looking after you, rescuing you, seeking you out.