November 22, 2009
CHRIST THE KING (B)
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. – John 18: 37
In 1925 Pope Pius XI instituted this feast to remind people what life is about & to whom they truly belong. It has nothing to do with crowns, palaces or robes, but with the basic question: to whom or what do we give our allegiance? It concerns the daily decisions we make when we leave here, decisions that reveal the allegiance we have. Here are three practical examples of allegiance:
After Hitler overran Europe, one of the people who resisted him was a king, King Christian of Denmark , a person of character & principle. An order came from the Nazis that all Jews were to identify themselves by wearing armbands with the yellow Star of David on them. What did Christian do? He put on the first Star of David & let it be known that every loyal Dane should do the same. The next day in Copenhagen almost the entire population was wearing these armbands.
Later the Nazis decided that all 8,000 Jews should be rounded up & sent to concentration camps. King Christian again reacted by organizing a resistance effort that smuggled 2,500 Jews to Sweden within a two week period.
It goes without saying that he suffered for his allegiance to principle & was imprisoned for two years. After his release when the Third Reich fell in 1945, he died shortly after from the ill treatment he had received.
Now from today’s headlines: A father attacks the coach of his seven year old because he’s not giving the boy enough playing time. Another father knocks out a referee for what he thinks is a bad call in a football game. Kids watch in utter confusion as their fathers violate the rules of the game & the rules of fair play & character building. Such fathers not only cause moral confusion by their acts of violence but are teaching their sons that this is the way you settle scores. For them, violence is king, not Christ.
Shift now to Lancaster , PA where ten young Amish girls are shot by a non-Amish assassin. What did the Amish do? They forgave the man. More than that, they brought food to his wife & children who lived not too far from the school. Could we reach the level of faith the Amish did, who also asked that some of the money being raised for their grieving families be given to the family of the man who killed & wounded their daughters? Could WE do that? For them, the matter is simple: Christ the King has spoken. They will not serve the demons of anger & revenge like the football fathers did.
So there you are: King Christian of Copenhagen , Denmark & the Amish of Lancaster , PA. Today on this feast let us collectively pray for the courage to add our names to these faithful followers of Christ the King. AMEN!