Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary - Homilies


Solemnity of Christ the King
Fr. Jonathan L. Reardon
November 24th, 2013
Year C

This past Tuesday we teamed up with the Hillel House to show the film “God in the Box”, a documentary on one man’s journey to discover God. We were blessed to have the producer and maker of the film with us for the screening. In the film he describes his own quest to know God by finding out how others view Him. He therefore, set up a box, a confessional like atmosphere where people could talk about how they view God. He asked two questions: what does God mean to you and how would you draw God, in other words, how do you see God? After “interviewing” thousands of people, at the end of the film, he himself got into the box yet still struggled to find the words to express his view of God. I found this film very well put together and quite intriguing. This entire week, I have been asking myself: if I were in the box, what would I say? How would I respond to these questions? My answer to the “box questions” seems appropriate for the feast we celebrate today – the Solemnity of Christ the King.

It may come as a bit of surprise to discover that this feast day is less than 100 years old. Pope Pius XI established it in 1925 in the Encyclical Letter Quas primas, meaning “In the First.” He instituted this feast at particularly turbulent time in history. World War I had just ended. The Bolshevik Revolution had recently ushered in the world’s first atheist totalitarian regime: Soviet Communism. Everywhere the Holy Fathered turned he was seeing a suffering humanity due to the abandonment of Christian values. Society was trying to build paradise on earth. This was similar ancient Israel in their desire for a king. They wanted to be like every other nation. Yet, this was not part of God’s plan. God’s plan, as told by Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, was that the law was to be Israel’s king, and through it, God Himself. As a consequence of their stubbornness, He devised a kingship for them. It was meant, however, that through God Israel would be set apart. Through Him, they would be free. This is precisely the point of Pope Pius XI, when we recognize both in public and in private, that Christ is the true King – the one who governs the universe – then will we receive the great blessing of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. For in Christ, God entered humanity and espoused it to Himself. Therefore, Christ is the true ruler of humanity, the one in whom true paradise exists.

This is what helps me to answer the question: what does God mean to me? Everything. My life is ruled by Him. Not in a controlling sort of way, as if I was a puppet on a string. My life is ruled by Him from the inside. This is the grace of baptism, confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist. In these ways, God unites Himself to us in a bond of communion – a deep, intimate and lasting friendship. He then becomes the point of origin and of departure in our lives. We come from Him and in this bond of communion we orient the whole of our lives toward Him because of our desire to receive the promise of salvation, the blessing of eternal life. It is this bond of friendship that helps me to draw God – to see Him – because I see Him only in Christ. God saw fit to reveal Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. He is not some force of energy that floats around in the sky, God is not some abstract entity that is distant from us – no, God is a person. He is a relational being. It for this reason, I can believe in Him, I can relate to Him, I can hope in Him and I can love Him. Again, as Pope Benedict noted: “This feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the one who writes straight with crooked lines.”

May Christ the King be for each of us the true ruler of our lives. May He be the one to govern us from within. May He be our everything. And let us have the courage to reflect that in our daily lives.



Fr. Jon Reardon

Rev. Jonathan L. Reardon is a priest for the diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts.
He serves at Sacred Heart Parish in Pittsfield, MA.



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