Monsignor Yennock on Christ the King - Homily from November 20, 2016

Nov 21, 2016

CHRIST THE KING

NOVEMBER 20, 2016

 

IN 1925 AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR THE WHOLE GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE HAD BEEN REDESIGNED. MOST OF THE KINGS AND QUEENS WERE GONE OR MOST OF THEIR POWER WAS DIMINISHED. IN 1925 POPE PIUS XI DELCLARED A NEW FEAST IN THE CHURCH—THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING.

 

SOME THOUGHT IT WAS STRANGE THAT THE CHURCH WAS INSTITUTING A FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING AT A TIME WHEN THE TITLE OF KING AND QUEEN WAS DISAPPEARING IN THE WORLD.

 

ACTUALLY, IT WAS A STROKE OF GENIUS ON THE PART OF THE CHURCH TO INSTITUTE THIS FEAST. THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST DELVES INTO THE QUESTION: WHO IS THE LORD OF HISTORY?  

 

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS TWO THOUSAND YEARS OLD. FROM THE BEGINNING THE CHURCH HAS LIVED SIDE BY SIDE WITH KINGS AND QUEENS, EMPERORS AND DICTATORS. MANY OF THESE LEADERS SAW THEMSELVES IN COMPETITION WITH THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST. THAT’S WHY THEY MADE EVERY EFFORT TO DESTROY THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. 

 

THEY TRIED TO CONVINCE THE WORLD THAT THE STATE IS LORD. IN OTHER WORDS THE STATE HAS ABSOLUTE POWER OVER EVERY FACET OF SOCIETY INCLUDING THE CHURCH.  IF POLITICAL POWER IS SUPREME THEN IT FOLLOWS THAT CAESAR IS LORD, NAPOLEON IS LORD, LENIN IS LORD, MARX IS LORD, HITLER IS LORD, STALIN IS LORD, MAO TSE TONG IS LORD, IDI AMIN IS LORD, AND POL POT IS LORD.

 

DEATH IS A GREAT LEVELER OF MEN AND STATES. ALL THE DICTATORS OF THE WORLD THAT TRIED TO DESTROY THE CHURCH ARE GONE. CAESAR IS DEAD, NAPOLEON IS DEAD, LENIN IS DEAD, MARX IS DEAD, AND HITLER IS DEAD. THE KINGS AND QUEENS, EMPERORS AND DICTATORS WHO PERSECUTED THE CHURCH HAVE FADED INTO HISTORY.

 

THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST IS THE OLDEST KINGDOM IN THE WORLD TODAY. THERE ARE 2 BILLION CHRISTIANS IN THIS KINGDOM.

 

IF WE TAKE A TRIP THROUGH THE PAST 2000 YEARS OF HISTORY JESUS CHRIST EMERGES AS THE LORD OF HISTORY?

 

JESUS CHRIST PROVED HIS LORDSHIP OVER LIFE AND DEATH WHEN HE WALKED AWAY FROM HIS OWN GRAVE BY HIS OWN POWER. FROM THE MOMENT HE EMERGED FROM THE TOMB HE CLAIMED HIS SUPREMACY OVER ALL EARTHLY POWER. EARTHLY RULERS AND STATES COME AND GO. HE POWER LASTS FOREVER. “I WILL BE WITH YOU.” 

 

IN THE FIRST THREE HUNDRED YEARS OF THE CHURCH THE ROMAN EMPEROR FORCED EVERYONE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT CAESAR IS LORD BY BURNING INCENSE BEFORE HIS STATUE.

 

CHRISTIANS REFUSED TO BURN INCENSE BEFORE CAESAR THEY SAID: “CAESAR IS NOT LORD. JESUS IS LORD.” FROM THAT TIME ON CHRISTIANITY AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE WERE IN CONFLICT.

 

THE QUESTION WAS: WHO IS LORD, CAESAR OR CHRIST?

 

BY THE END OF THE FOURTH CENTURY THE POWER OF CAESAR AS LORD GAVE WAY TO THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE WHERE THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE PROCLAIMED: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD.

 

THEN THERE WERE THE KINGS AND QUEENS WITH THEIR CLAIMS OF LORDSHIP. AFTER A THOUSAND YEARS OF FRENCH MONARCHY AND ANOTHER THOUSAND YEARS OF BRITISH MONARCHY IN EUROPE THE SERIOUS POWER OF KINGS AND QUEENS HAS PRETTY MUCH DISAPPEARED.  

 

CHRIST THE KING ALONE HAS SURVIVED.  

 

IN MODERN TIMES WE HAVE LIVED THROUGH THE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON, HITLER, STALIN, AND OTHER DICTATORS WHO HAD DESIGNS TO CONQUER THE WORLD. EACH ONE, IN HIS OWN WAY TRIED TO PROVE THAT JESUS IS NOT LORD. THEY DEFENDED THEIR OWN LORDSHIP.

 

WHAT HAPPENED? THEY SPENT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON THEIR ARMIES THEIR NAVIES THEIR AIRFORCES. TOGETHER THEY CRUELLY ENSLAVED AND MURDERED OVER 100 MILLION PEOPLE. THEY EXTERMINATED ANYONE WHO OPPOSED THEIR LORDSHIP.

 

SECULAR RULERS HAVE A SHORT LIFE. DEFEAT OR DEATH SOONER OR LATER BRING THEM DOWN.

 

THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST THE KING ALONE SURVIVES. AS DANIEL PROPHESIED 500 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST: “HIS KINGDOM SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED. HIS DOMINION IS FOREVER.”

 

BEFORE THE CRUCIFIXION TWO POWERFUL FIGURES FACED EACH OTHER IN THE MOST FAMOUS CONFRONTATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

 

PILATE WAS NOT REALLY A KING. HE WAS THE EMPEROR’S MAN IN ISRAEL. AT THE TRIAL OF JESUS, PILATE IS SURROUNDED BY GUARDS. HE STANDS IMPERIOUS WEARING ALL THE ROBES AND INSIGNIA OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. HE ASKS THE PRISONER: “ARE YOU A KING”?

 

IT IS A HISTORICAL FACT THAT JESUS WAS A KING. THE ROYAL BLOOD OF KING DAVID AND ALL THE KINGS OF ISRAEL FLOWED THROUGH HIS VEINS. HE STANDS THERE ALONE TALL AND MAJESTIC WEARING THE ROBE OF A FOOL WITH A CROWN OF THORNS AND BLOOD ON HIS FACE.

 

WITH NOBILITY AND COURAGE JESUS SAYS: “I AM A KING. MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.” JESUS THEN PROCLAIMED AN ASTONISHING TRUTH. HE TOLD PILATE THAT ALL AUTHORITY, INCLUDING PILATE’S AUTHORITY, COMES FROM GOD.

 

WHO WON IN THAT ENCOUNTER BETWEEN PILATE AND JESUS?  FROM ALL OUTWARD APPEARANCES IT LOOKS LIKE PILATE WON. .

 

HOWEVER, IN A FEW YEARS IT WOULD BE PILATE WHO STANDS ALONE BEFORE JESUS IN JUDGEMENT. WE CAN ONLY WONDER WHAT THAT WAS LIKE. HOW SURPRISED PILATE MUST HAVE BEEN TO FIND OUT THAT JESUS REALLY WAS KING OF THE UNIVERSE.

 

AT THE TIME OF THE SO-CALLED ENLIGHTENMENT IN FRANCE VOLTAIRE A NOTED FRENCH CRITIC AND WRITER SAID: “IN A 100 YEARS FROM NOW, CHRISTIANITY WILL BE SWEPT OUT OF EXISTENCE AND PASS INTO HISTORY. VOLTAIRE DIED IN 1778. HE PASSED INTO HISTORY. THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST THE KING ARE STILL VERY MUCH ALIVE.

 

BOTH NAPOLEON AND STALIN AT DIFFERENT TIMES MOCKED THE CHURCH ASKING. HOW MANY DIVISIONS DOES THE CHURCH HAVE? WHERE ARE HER ARMIES? WHERE ARE HER NAVIES? NAPOLEON AND STALIN NO LONGER COMMAND ARMIES OR NAVIES.

 

CHRIST THE KING STILL COMMANDS HIS SPIRITUAL ARMY OF MEN AND WOMEN. THROUGH THE PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE HE CALLS MEN AND WOMEN TO BUILD UP HIS KINGDOM.

 

THERE ARE 400,000 PRIESTS AND 800,000 SISTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD TODAY. THE RELIGIOUS ORDERS OF MEN AND WOMEN FORM THE ARMIES OF CHRIST, PROCLAIMING HIS KINGSHIP.

 

YOU WILL FIND THEM IN CONVENTS AND MONASTERIES--THE AUGUSTINIANS, THE FRANCISCANS, THE DOMINICANS, THE VINCENTIANS, THE JESUITS, THE SALESIANS, THE SISTERS OF LIFE THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH, THE FRANCISCAN SISTERS AND THE SISTERS OF CHARITY.

 

THESE ARE ONLY A FEW. THERE ARE LITERALLY HUNDREDS MORE RELIGIOUS ORDERS OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE SWORN ALLEGIANCE TO CHRIST THE KING.

 

EVEN IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY THOUSANDS OF MEN AND WOMEN TAKE THE VOWS OF POVERTY, CHASTITY AND OBEDIENCE TO COUNTERACT THE OBSESSION THAT THE WORLD HAS WITH WEALTH, POWER, SEX, AND REBELLION.

 

THESE ARMIES ARE LIVING WITNESSES THAT JESUS CHRIST THE KING IS LORD OF THE UNIVERSE. HE GIVES THEM THEIR MARCHING ORDERS.

 

DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY APPEARANCES. JESUS IS LORD AND HE WILL REIGN FOREVER. NEVER GIVE UP AND NEVER BECOME DISCOURAGED. THE ENEMIES OF CHRIST HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DESTROY HIS CHURCH FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. THEY HAVE FAILED MISERABLY. THE CHURCH GROWS STRONGER AFTER EVERY PERSECUTION.

 

IN 1924, THE YEAR BEFORE THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING WAS PROCLAIMED, THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO DECLARED WAR ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO PROVE ONCE MORE THAT JESUS IS NOT LORD.

 

A YOUNG JESUIT PRIEST MICHAEL PRO WAS ARRESTED AND BROUGHT IN FRONT OF THE FIRING SQUAD. BEFORE THEY SHOT HIM, WITH A CRUCIFIX IN HIS HAND HE SHOUTED OUT VIVA CHRISTO REY. LONG LIVE CHRIST THE KING. THOUSANDS OF PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS, AND LAY PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN THAT MOVEMENT AGAINST CHRIST THE KING.

 

THE PERSECUTION IS OVER NOW IN MEXICO. THE CHURCH IS FLOURISHING THERE. TODAY MORE THAN 80% OF THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO ARE CATHOLIC. WHEN POPE BENEDICT XVI  WENT TO MEXICO HE SPOKE TO OVER 350,000 PEOPLE IN FRONT OF A DRAMATIC 72 FOOT STATUE OF CHRIST THE KING A SYMBOL OF THEIR FREEDOM IN CHRIST. 

 

THE INTELLECTUALS OF THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURIES WERE TAKEN IN BY THE ERRORS OF SECOND RATE THINKERS. THEIR HEADS WERE TURNED BY FALSE IDEAS, PLEASURE, MONEY AND POWER. THEY WERE FASCINATED BY THE NEW CAESARS, BY THE KINGS AND QUEENS, BY THE DICTATORS, NAPOLEON, HITLER, AND STALIN. 

 

THOSE KINGDOMS AND EMPIRES ARE LONG GONE. THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST THE KING ALONE REMAINS.

 

“ABOVE HIM THERE WAS AN INSCRIPTION THAT READ, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”.

 

IN THE DRAMA, THE TRIAL OF JESUS, JOHN MASEFIELD HAS THE CENTURION LONGINUS REPORT TO PILATE AFTER THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS. LONGINUS HAD BEEN THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE EXECUTION, AND AFTER HIS OFFICIAL REPORT, CLAUDIA, PILATE’S WIFE, CALLS THE CENTURION TO COME AND TELL HER HOW THE PRISONER HAD DIED.

 

AFTER THE CENTURION GIVES HER THE ACCOUNT OF JESUS’ DEATH, SHE ASKS, “DO YOU THINK HE IS DEAD?” LONGINUS ANSWERS, “NO, LADY, I DON’T.” “THEN WHERE IS HE?” ASKS CLAUDIA. LONGINUS REPLIES, “LET LOOSE IN THE WORLD, LADY, WHERE NEITHER ROMAN NOR JEW CAN STOP HIS TRUTH.” 

 

NO ONE CAN STOP THE TRUTH OF THE KING OF KINGS. THE RISEN JESUS, THROUGH HIS ARMY OF FAITHFUL BELIEVERS, IS INDEED LET LOOSE IN THE WORLD. HIS TRUTH CONTINUES TO CHANGE HEARTS AND LIVES.

 

IT IS THE ONLY TRUTH THAT CAN SAVE US AND SET US FREE.

 

REMEMBER THAT THE RISEN JESUS IS ALIVE. AT THIS MASS WHEN YOU COME FACE TO FACE WITH HIM IN HOLY COMMUNION, WITH ALL THE FAITH THAT YOU CAN MUSTER TELL HIM:  “JESUS, YOU ARE THE KING OF MY HEART; YOU ARE THE LORD OF MY LIFE”.

 

 

VIVA CRISTO REY!

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