November 21, 2021
A REIGN OF JUSTICE AND LOVE
This is the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year. It is always the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King. The readings are eschatological, that is, talking about the end-times, when Jesus will come again as the Eternal Judge of both the dead and the living. Rather than looking at it as the end, we should regard it as the beginning of the glorious reign of God among us. Our readings this weekend emphasize the love of Christ the King. He did not come to establish his kingdom with force. His ‘weapons’ are goodness and a shepherd’s kindness. He is a Good Shepherd who tends to his lost sheep, to those men and women who might have gone astray through sin. He takes care to heal their wounds and he even goes so far as to die for his sheep (John 10:11).
Christ’s kingship is the fruit of his perfect love. This love is shown in self-giving service to his followers. His kingship is shown in service: “The Son of Man has come not to be served, but to serve, and to offer his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). While all the earthly kings have come and gone, the kingship of Jesus continues for eternity. After all, love is eternal; consequently, a kingship of love is eternal. It is only love that can change the world. If we want to yield real power in this world, let us just follow the one commandment of Jesus: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).
Each one of us is called to participate in the kingship of Jesus and expand it through our apostolate. We should always remember that the authentic sign of kingship is humility. This is very clear in the life of Jesus. While earthly kings live in palaces, with all the opulence of wealth and luxury, Jesus lived in simplicity and hiddenness. The earthly kings and all their glory are gone, but Jesus reigns now and for always. In any position of power, we hold, let us always be reminded of the virtue of humility. Let us resolve to make our hearts conform to the will of God.
May Christ our King reign in our minds, our wills and our actions.
Fr. Tony Onyeihe, Associate Pastor
November 14, 2021
This weekend we hear from our mission priest, Fr. John Mark Ettensohn. Starting Sunday evening through Wednesday evening, he gives a taste of what is to come: Where is God at in our lives, in our times?
The readings speak of the end times. Daniel prophesies that it will be a time “unsurpassed in distress.” Yet also “at that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written in the book (of life)”.
Evil will not go easy, but evil will not win.
Jesus builds upon and fulfills Daniel’s prophesy: After “that tribulation” and “the power being shaken”, not only will we escape, we will see “the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” He will send out his angels and gather his select” from everywhere.
Jesus’ whole family will be gathered together, the little and the lowly lifted up and the lost sheep found.
“The end is near!” We don’t know how near.
But we do know its is certain.
We also know that already Someone is near and certain.
Let Fr. Ettensohn these next few days guide you in a short journey about how God is restorative in our lives, in our times.
Fr. Don Antweiler, Pastor
November 7, 2021
In the readings of this weekend, especially the first reading and the gospel reading, two widows are presented; the Old testament widow of Zarephath and the gospel widow of the temple. Both exemplify faith-filled people who quietly give what they cannot afford: their all, for the glory of God and in the service of others. They teach us that to be generous, one need not be rich. True generosity comes from the heart.
We turn to the poor widow in the Gospel whose gesture is one of the lovelies and most touching scenes in the Bible. Here comes a woman – a widow, insignificant in herself and lost in a big crowd. Her situations seem all the more pathetic as she is lost among many rich and pompous people keen on making a show of themselves, bent on exhibiting their wealth and eager to practice their virtues in public. In clear contrast to all this obvious display comes along in all humility our poor widow who gently drops in two coins worth only a few cents! But someone with a better yardstick of values evaluates it differently and makes a solemn declaration: “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.”
What makes her small contribution so great? It is the heart that makes all the difference. The rich who gave fat contributions did not really give up anything as their gifts were superfluous. On the contrary, this woman gave up all she really had with no pretense. Her heart was in her giving while in the giving of the rich was their ego and not their hearts. Jesus values the disposition of the giver more that the gift received. He looks not only on the amount given, but into the very heart of the donor. True worship is in spirit and in truth.
Authentic giving must spring from the heart. We feel moved to provides some relief for those in need, to contribute to the upkeep and expansion of the church and to support whatever good works benefit the common good. By giving, we can become detached from the things of the world. It also disposes the heart to be more attentive to the will of God, attract the blessings of God and heal the wounds of sin. Whatever we give away in time, energy and resources, the Lord will return to us a hundredfold. The Lord who bountifully multiplied the food of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17: 10 -16) when she provided for Elijah, will reward our generosity of heart beyond all telling.
Fr. Tony Onyeihe, Associate Pastor