In the Catholic tradition, the last Sunday of the liturgical year honors Christ the King. The following Sunday will start the new year with the first Sunday of Lent.
This day is a good time to remember that our own longing for justice mirrors God’s deepest desire. We can be confident that in God’s own time, God will see justice done.
The musician David Haas once told of visiting a friend who was dying. He asked, “how ya doin’?”
His friend replied, “the bad news is, I don’t feel so hot. The good news is, Christ reigns.”
The next logical step if we believe in Christ’s kingship is letting go of the anxiety we carry around like a heavy backpack. Even seeing Christ’s sacrifice, we prefer lugging the burden, holding it closer than him. If we can hand over the worries to the divine parent who cares for us more than anyone has ever loved us, then we belong to Christ. Then Christ is King. Even if our world looks desolate, God created and sustains it, Christ died for it, and the Spirit invigorates it. News worth celebrating!
Do we make decisions and initiate actions from a frightened, reptilian brain or from a prayerful center? What may help movement towards the latter is a new book called Prayer in the Catholic Tradition, edited by Robert Wicks, www.FranciscanMedia.org. Full disclosure: my essay, “Prayer in Chaos, Commotion and Clutter” is the last in the volume. Especially fine are the opening chapter on prayerfulness, Joyce Rupp’s article on praying through difficult traditions, and Richard Rohr’s “How Can Anyone Pray ‘Always’?” Numerous articles by thoughtful people who have seriously studied their own tradition will make this a treasure trove for months to come.