Some religious advice we receive sounds wonderful, and yet it doesn’t work for us. In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “What you did for one of the least brothers of mine you did for me.” Those words give rise to people telling us we should see Christ in unfortunate ones. I know that is very good advice, but it doesn’t work for me. I see the individual I’m dealing with, but I can’t fit Christ into him or her.
What does work for me – the thought that motivates me to do good – is that the people I am having trouble with are God’s children. God is his or her doting father, and it pleases him when I go out of my way to be kind to this runt of his family.
For celebrating the feast of Christ the King I find beauty in the Preface of the Mass. It conjures up an image of what Romans called an official Triumph. It was like a tickertape parade, and it was an honor the Senate voted to a general who had won great honors for Rome. The day became a holiday for the citizens who would line the road, cheering on the great general and all his command.
The Preface gives particular attention to the troops he commands. Christ the King “delivers to Thy sublime majesty an eternal and universal kingdom. A kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”
And, I want to be there when the saints go marching in.