Weekly Homily from Fr Jim Hogan, 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Feast of Christ the King, November 20, 2016

Sorry for being late again, folks.  Old brain cells!…reyanna

•2 Samuel 5:1-3 • Colossians 1:12-20 • Luke 23:35-43•

Weekly Scripture Readings:34th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Many global problems and issues face our world today. Most of us know, at least intuitively, that we in the Western world are living in a “spiritual crisis.” The word “spiritual” refers to every aspect of life, to everything that affects the quality of the human spirit. That is everything!! The word “crisis” identifies a time when difficult or important decisions must be made.

A variety of factors contribute to the “spiritual crisis” of our time. Among those factors are vast shifting demographics and disorienting technologies. Surely narcissism and violence within our social fabric are manifestations of this “spiritual crisis.”

I find it helpful to remember this “spiritual crisis” is neither new nor unique to our moment in history. It is simply part of the recurring cycle in which we humans find ourselves struggling to become more fully alive and more fully human. Evolution is a slow, often painful, process.

The close companions of Jesus experienced a “spiritual crisis” in the crucifixion, and even more so in the resurrection. In response they formed deep bonds of shared faith in small community.

In every “axial age” since, the church has faced a “spiritual crisis.” The response of Christians living in the Middle-Ages was to identify with the people of social-political power. Many of the trappings associated with people of power were adopted. We remain burdened by that today. Catholic bishops still mimic the dress, titles and life-styles of the princes of Medieval Europe.

After the catastrophe of World War I, Pope Pius XI sought to lead the church out of a “spiritual crisis” by constructing a new Christendom based on world peace. He established the feast of Christ the King, to remind both church and state, that Christ alone reigns supreme. With the letter to the Colossians we affirm that “Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

But how easily we forget that, “in Christ all things hold together!” Today, by affirming that Christ is King, we renew our own commitment to embrace his way of life and to imitate the nonviolent Christ. That is the only sure route to transform the powerful forces of narcissism and violence among us.

We now live with the consequences of our recent election. Only time will tell us what that means as we seek to resolve and heal the “spiritual crisis” in which we find our nation.

For fifteen years we American people have casually accepted, and supported a state of perpetual war. Isn’t it time for all of us who name Christ – “the King,” to do something about that state of perpetual war?

For more than half a century we have lived with nuclear arsenals that threaten us with “mutual assured destruction.” Isn’t it time for all of us who name Christ – “the King,” to do something about banning the development and possession of nuclear weapons by all nations?

Scientists warn about climate change. They may be mistaken. However the significant increase in the frequency of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wild fires and rising sea levels tell us something. Doesn’t naming Christ –“The King” mean caring for Earth and our neighbors?

Many in our nation expect our newly elected President to “Make America Great Again.” I think that presumes resolving the “spiritual crisis” in which we find ourselves. I think America will be great again only if and when we embrace nonviolence in our personal conflicts and as our nation’s policy in international affairs. If we maintain the status quo our “spiritual crisis” will persist regardless of what politicians claim. America will not be great again!

I suspect I know what you want to do. I encourage you to take the risk. Imitate Christ. Renew your personal commitment to be people of nonviolent love.

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