Saturday, November 22, 2008

Destination and Destiny

(Christ the King, A)

The cosmic kingship of Christ is the end of the world. ‘End’ not so much in terms of a terminal point—though it is that too—but ‘end’ in the sense of purpose. That the kingdom of God in which Christ reigns forever should become complete and extend to every human soul and every other part of creation is the point and purpose of everything God has ever done.

We start to get a sense of this in the second reading we hear today from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. “…in Christ all shall be brought to life, but each in proper order.” This is the process of creation moving toward its final goal of all being brought to eternal life. Christ was first at his Resurrection; his rising to new life is like a kind of preview of the world to come. As Paul says, then those who belong to Christ will be raised as well. When this resurrection of the world reaches completion, then even the final enemy, death, will be destroyed and Christ will reign supreme, and, as Paul says, “God will be all in all.” That’s the reign of Christ the King.

This is about destiny! The full and final reign of Christ is the “life of the world to come” we proclaim in the creed, when the eternal life which we now enjoy obscurely comes to rule every heart and mind and all creation is rolled back into the Original Blessing we call God. This is the fulfillment for which all the prophets hoped, just as Ezekiel in the first reading today looks forward to that divine shepherd who would gather those who are scattered, injured, lost, or sick. This is what God is doing for us in Christ; by pouring his own infinite goodness into our humanity through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, God offers us a path to safety and healing from all the injuries and misery we have brought upon ourselves with our sins.

In the meantime, brothers and sisters, God not only invites but commands us to become part of this movement towards the final fulfillment of creation. We are not in the situation of the nations who stand before God in St. Matthew’s vision of the Last Judgment—the nations who didn’t know that they were or were not serving Christ in the least of their brothers and sisters. We who are Christians know that on account of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word and the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the presence of God is to be found in suffering and needy humanity. We are not ignorant like the nations who are judged in the Gospel we hear today. Instead, we are gifted with the eyes of faith that can see the broken body of Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters, and God calls us to serve him in them and so join in the real history of the world, which is the movement toward the fullness of the kingship of Christ.

This is where the world is going, to the fullness of love in which the Resurrection of Christ comes to encompass all the hurt, lost, and broken of our world. Let’s join in.

1 comment:

GrandmaK said...

"We are not ignorant like the nations who are judged in the Gospel we hear today...we are gifted with the eyes of faith that can see the broken body of Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters, and God calls us to serve him in them and so join in the real history of the world, which is the movement toward the fullness of the kingship of Christ."

I am fortunate that I can see that I am called to serve. In my laziness I fear I do not serve often enough. In my own brokenness I think sometimes I ignore those in need, for which I have not excuse. I am grateful to a patient God who knows I'm still a follower in training and my skills are not yet perfected. It gives me motivation to move "toward the fullness of the Kingship of Christ."

This was a wonderful lesson for me. Thank you! Cathy