Homily for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus, King of the Universe

Today is the feast of Christ the King.
In the year 2016, there are some countries that still have kings. 
Our nation is not one of them.
Here in the United States we have a president.
In fact right now, one might say we have two presidents.
One president who is finishing out his second term, and we have a president-elect. A man elected 11 days ago.
He is now gathering together his governing team and will take office two months from today.

This most recent election dramatically reveals the deep divide that exists in our nation. In the past 10 days many Americans have been jubilant and elated – happily looking forward to the start of the new president’s term. And many other Americans have been fearful and angry – worried that even before the start of the next term that the mood of the nation has darkened, and that those on the margins of society have already begun to feel a change.

At the same time, many Americans are trying to take a “wait and see” attitude and to hope for the best.

We Catholic Americans are kind of unique in that we have both president and king.

We Catholic Americans have a president. 
Whether we voted for him or not, whether we like him or not, whether we agree with him or not, a duly elected president deserves our respect, cooperation and support.
At the same time, we must be vigilant and hold any president responsible for ensuring the protection the most vulnerable members of our society – whether these be the poor, the unborn, victims of human trafficking, racial, ethnic or other minorities who are being made to suffer. 

We Catholic Americans also have a king. 
His name is Jesus Christ. 
Every king has a throne. 
Our King has had 3 and he seeks a 4th. 
1.     The first throne was the manger where he was born in Bethlehem.
2.     The second throne that Jesus had was the cross.
3.     His third throne is the throne in heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father.

In some future homily I will talk about those three thrones and why they are important,

But for now, let me talk about one last throne – that 4th one.

Whether you know it or not, you have the throne in your heart. Whatever sits on that throne governs your life.
Ask yourself: What sits on the throne in your heart?
o    Is it the desire for money?   or things?
o    Is it alcohol? Is it drugs? Is it sex? Is it yourself? Is it your work?
o    Is it a relationship with someone that you know in your heart is sinful?
o    It is possible for any of these things to be sitting on the throne of your heart.
And if one of these things is sitting on the throne,
it is governing your life; it is directing your life, and NOT the Lord.

The thing that you and I need to do is to look into our own hearts and to see who or what is sitting on the throne there. If we see ourselves sitting there, or if we see any one of the things I just mentioned sitting there, we.need.to.repent. We need to remove those other things from that throne. And then we need to turn to Jesus.

We need to open up our hearts to Jesus.
We need to invite Him to come into our hearts.
We need to invite Him to sit on the throne in our hearts.
We need to invite Him to be our king.

We need to invite Him to rule our hearts, to rule our lives,
with His love, with His peace, with His reconciliation, with His forgiveness.
When we invite him to take his throne as King in our hearts and our lives, it will affect how we act as Catholic citizens of our great nation. 

One more, related thing:
Archbishop Chaput 4 days ago wrote and posted a very helpful article about our nation since the presidential election in CatholicPhilly.com entitled:
The Right Place to Start
Here is a link to the column. I highly recommend it. 

Finally, as we receive Our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist today,
let us invite Him to be the King of our hearts and our lives.
so that we can help the Gospel values of Justice, Mercy and Compassion to prevail in our nation.