He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
Tomorrow is the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday begins Advent. Christ the King dovetails nicely with Advent, completing the unbroken circle. On this day, we celebrate that Christ is King of the Universe and we look forward to His return in all His glory at the end of time.
I sometimes think of an elderly lady whom I knew, who passed away recently, and an occasion when we were both participating in a little discussion group. I believe it was when the new Roman Missal was introduced and our pastor had several sessions discussing the Order of the Mass. He asked, “What would you do if Jesus walked into the church right now? What if He just strolled in?” I remember thinking I would fall on my face and I was not alone. We were all mentally falling to our knees! (I think that was probably Father’s point.) But this dear lady said, “I think I would run up to Him and give Him a hug and say ‘I’m so glad to see You!'”
I thought to myself that I wished I had faith like that. It made me smile. And when she died a few weeks ago, it was the first thing I thought of, that I hoped she got her hug. I’m betting she did.
The Christ who is King of the Universe, God Himself, takes our breath away when we contemplate His power and glory. But, as the Gospel reminds us, He is a king crowned with thorns who has turned the world on its head by challenging our assumptions about real power and real glory. Anyone with a TV or a computer has witnessed what some people are willing to do to achieve worldly power and prestige. It has been quite a spectacle. Jesus teaches us that such is fleeting. He offers us the treasure of heaven – “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” – if we repent our sins and believe in Him.
We see glimpses of that treasure when we live as Jesus taught. I suspect that is why my elderly friend was so ready to meet Him.
Through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, Christ has thrown open the doors to heaven to all who will pick up their cross and follow Him. He has shown that the powers of this world are nothing. Jesus Christ is King of the Universe. To Him be all the Power and the Glory, today and always.