Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. (Rev.1:5-6)
The recent terrorist attack in Paris on November 13, 2015, which led to over 200 dead and many seriously injured, reminds us of the presence of evil in our world. If we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the ruler of the kings of the earth, we might ask where is God to be found in such tragedy based on hatred and bigotry and the desire to create an empire. Similar events occurring in the Middle East have led to many thousands of refugees seeking a place of comfort in Europe, the likes of which has not been seen since the aftermath of World War II. Interestingly, Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 to combat the false idols of his day, such as consumerism, free market exploitation, nationalism, secularism and mass injustice. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The Scriptures for this solemnity reflect two contrasting images for Jesus: the one who comes on the clouds to receive power and glory and the one standing before Pilate. The king is simultaneously the crucified one. In John’s gospel that we read this Sunday, the cross is the place where Jesus reveals his glory. As the culmination of liturgical year 2015, we acclaim Jesus as the King. His example of self-service encourages us to serve him with all our hearts. As a priestly people, we bring the light of Christ to all in need and invite them to follow Jesus as his disciples.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I want to thank you for your generous response to our request for food and monetary donations to help needy families have a nice meal. Masses for Thanksgiving in our family of our four parishes take place on Wednesday, November 25 at 7:00 pm at SS Peter & Paul (followed by a pie social) and Thursday, November 26 at 9:00 am at Three Holy Women-St. Hedwig Church. On behalf of Fr . Tim and me, we wish you a blessed Thanksgiving. May God be with you wherever you may travel and bless you for your generosity to our parishes. Don’t forget that Advent begins the weekend of November 28-29.
Peace and love,
Fr. Mike Michalski