From our Pastor’s Desk
Dear Parish Family:
This weekend the Church celebrates one of the most important Solemnities of the liturgical year: The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Preparing for this great feast, I came across this reflection by David Amado Fernandez, which I find worthy of being shared and therefore I do so with you today.
“With this Solemnity the liturgical Year ends. During the different liturgical times we have been remembering and living the mysteries of the life of Christ to configure ourselves with him. Today’s feast presents us with Jesus, who was resurrected and is at the right hand of the Father, constituted as King of all creation. We live it from faith, because in our world there are many realities and people who seem to escape the influence of his mercy. We wish to grow in His knowledge and love.
In the preface to the Mass we are told that Jesus Christ has subdued the entire creation, “offering himself as a perfect victim and peacemaker on the altar of the cross” and thus has established the kingdom of “truth and life, holiness and grace, justice and peace.” He made that kingdom so that we could live in it forever and, therefore, it is the work of his love. To form it, Jesus has given himself over to death so that we might be redeemed by his blood. As we meditate on the preface we discover that Jesus precedes us in everything. When we think of a king and his subjects, the idea of obedience and service immediately comes to mind. But it is Christ who has become obedient first to win us all. His kingship is a manifestation of his love: it is the expression of the victory of his love over sin and death.
One of Jesus’ prerogatives as king is to judge. The Gospel’s parable refers to his second coming and how each one will receive according to his conduct. Each person’s life will be measured in relation to the person of Christ. In his disconcerting simplicity, the Lord tells those on his right and those on his left that during his life they have been making choices and that these were not indifferent, because as they treated the little ones, so did he. They treated him.
The parable warns us about the seriousness with which we must face our final destiny. It also tells us that today we have to make a choice. In every circumstance, and especially in the face of those who live in need or suffering, we must choose Christ. The same love that led Jesus to reconcile the world with God is what is given to us so that we can collaborate in the expansion of his kingdom. Then we must choose to live with the love of “the one who has conquered the world.” Our obedience is manifested in choosing his love every day as the criterion for our actions. Pope Francis recalled:
“Salvation is opening ourselves to Jesus, and he saves us. If we are sinners – and we all are –, we ask for forgiveness; and if we go to him wanting to be good, the Lord forgives us. But to do this we must open ourselves to the love of Jesus, which is stronger than all other things. The love of Jesus is great, the love of Jesus is merciful, the love of Jesus forgives. But you must open up, and opening up means repenting, accusing ourselves of the things that we have done that are not good.”
With joy let us renew our desire to serve Jesus, so that his reign may extend throughout the world and everyone may take refuge in his mercy.”
Changing the subject, and in light of the Thanksgiving we just celebrated, I want to express my gratitude to all of you, this great parish family of St. Katharine Drexel. Everyone contributes to the project of our faith in some way or another through all the activities and ministries we have. I urge you to continue walking together towards holiness, taking care of each other. May the love of Christ reign among us; May the peace of Christ spread among us; May the mercy of Christ cover us all equally.
Don’t forget to participate in the torchlight procession on the day of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, the Christmas Bazaar on December 9 during the day, the presentation of the Christmas Story created and performed by the youth of our parish on December 9 at night, the Family Christmas Party and the Grand Christmas Raffle on December 15, the Christmas concert organized by the Knights of Columbus on December 16 and the Christmas Novena beginning on December 16. Celebrating as a family, all together, we will continue to be One Body, One Spirit, One Family! Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Katharine Drexel, Saint Michael the Archangel, Pope Saint Pius X and Blessed Dr. José Gregorio Hernández, pray for us!
Yours in Christ Jesus!