A Leader Like No Other

      The movement that began as an Arab “Spring” has led to a dramatic change in the leadership of nations across northern Africa.  Egypt and Libya are just two of the countries that are on totally new ground as political dynasties have been toppled.

      In our country, a countless number of debates among contenders for the Republican nomination for President indicate that there is no shortage of individuals who believe that they are capable of doing a better job than our current president.  Next year President Obama will take a more prominent spot on the campaign trail to state why he is the best choice to remain in the White House.

     No matter how long one leads, no earthly leader remains forever.  Our Presidents are limited to no more than eight years in office.  The President of Mexico serves one six year term.  After 42 years, Colonel Kadaffi no longer leads Libya.  One day there will be a Cuba without a Castro in leadership.

      In 1925, Pope Pius XI promulgated the doctrine that led to the establishment of this Feast of Christ the King.  In a time when socialism, communism, and even nazism were beginning to compete with democracy and capitalism, when many nations were questioning their monarchial form of government, the Church was teaching that there is no one perfect form of earthly leadership and no one eternal leader for the Christian world — other than Jesus, Christ the King.

       We are citizens of this world and citizens of this nation and citizens of a local community.  At a time when the number of people voting is often so dismal, we need to be reminded of our duty and our responsibility to be stewards of this earth, active citizens, people who influence the decisions of those chosen to lead.

      AT THE SAME TIME, we are reminded on this final Sunday of the Church Year that we are also citizens of a kingdom to come, citizens of an eternal world.  We pledge our allegiance to our flag and to the nation for which it stands …..AND AT THE SAME TIME, we pledge our allegiance to a totally different leader, to values which are at times in conflict to the world around us —

      The Gospel of this weekend [Matthew 25:31-46] reveals the standard by which it will be determined how good we really are, the standard by which we will be judged to be faithful followers of our leader.

      The size of the crucifix in our Church, the number of statues in our home, the number of rosaries we pray, the number of committees we serve on, the number of plaques we receive are all nice — these tangible things may even support and help us — they are not insignificant.  But, the determination of whether we stand to the left or the right — whether we are sheep or goats — is right there before us in black and white — what did we do for the least of those in your midst. 

      We are called to turn away from a world of “smart bombs” to deal with our aggression, our competition, and our prejudices, to “judge ourselves” as to how we are really caring about others.  If I “win” by domination, if I “survive” by out yelling someone, if I stand first because I have destroyed another, then what have I gained according to today’s Gospel? 

      C.S. Lewis often said and wrote that Christianity has not failed — he said, it really has never been tried.  Henri Nouwen said that in Christ the greatest humiliation and the greatest victory were joined in one person.  What seemed so humiliating — placing oneself at the service of another to the point of death — led to the greatest victory the world has ever seen … and not one shot was fired.

         Perhaps one of the greatest hypocrisies of our time is that we seem disgusted by the self-service, the moral failures, the unconcern of our political leaders —–and we fail to see these same things in ourselves.  Today, we stand in judgment before our King and most importantly ourselves.

          Next weekend, the Roman Catholic Church will begin using a new Roman Missal.  There will be new words, unfamiliar words for all of us.  We will adapt to change slowly — and that is ok.  It is important that we get the rite right.  HOWEVER, if we say all the words correctly and together — if we adjust our musical texts just on time — and we learn nothing new about how we are to live, then we missed the point.

         Today’s Gospel says nothing about perfect worship, full churches, the number of programs one attends —- it is about how much we are like Jesus who laid down his life for the sick, the hungry, the lonely, all who are in need.

        What an AWESOME GOD we serve.

hjm  {There will be no posting for the next two weeks as I take some time off.}

About thegospelforliving

Retired Catholic Priest - now serving the community as a paralegal and charter school consultant.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Leader Like No Other

  1. Bud Wagner says:

    I always look forward to your visions. And pass them on to fellow deacons who do not have or use a computer. May God be a Blessing to all your efforts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s