The Catholic Liturgy for Christ the King Sunday, November 25, 2018. Gospel: John 18:33-37. Theme: Miracles of the King
In today’s second reading from the Book of Revelation, Jesus says of Himself: “I am the One-Who-Is and the One-Who-Was and the One-Who-Is-To-Come.” That last title - the One-Who-Is-To-Come - is a perfect image for us as we close out the old liturgical year and welcome in a new one next weekend with the First Sunday of Advent, the season of preparation for the One-Who-Is-To Come.
For a thousand years before the birth of Christ, God’s people yearned for the arrival of the Messiah, the longed-awaited-King, whom they called the “One-Who-is-to-Come”. The prophets foretold that this Messiah-King would restore hope in their lives and would satisfy the innermost desires of those who turned to Him. He would work awesome miracles as signs that His Kingdom, although not of this world, was indeed bursting into this world, with all of the power and presence of God, so as to grab our attention and embolden us to follow him.
But an amazing thing is that these miracles of Christ the King, of the One-Who-Is-To-Come, are not something limited to the days when Jesus walked on earth. The Kingdom of Christ lasts forever and encompasses all people, of all time and in every place, so these miracles have been happening constantly over the past 2,000 years. They continue to take place even today because His Kingdom is not limited - like earthly kingdoms - to one time or place in history.
As a matter of fact, literally hundreds of miracles are scrutinized by scientists and physicians every year, either at the Vatican Office for Saints or at international shrines such as Lourdes. The hardcore evidence of these miracles that astonish science and baffle medicine is all around us – and just as in gospel times even in our day, the blind see; the crippled walk; and the dead are restored to life.
(To hear the following miracles stories, listen to the audio homily. The blind see – Gemma Di Giorgi, Sicily. The crippled walk – Serge Francois, Lourdes. The dead come back to life – James Engstrom, stillborn, Illinois.)
So, you see…miracles are all around us as the signs and proof of WHO Jesus is and WHAT He wishes to do for us. They are meant to remind us that the One-Who-is-to-Come has already arrived and He’s here among us right now...and He is ready and willing to touch and transform those who
· open their minds to the evidence about WHO he really is…
· who open their eyes to the proof of WHAT he can do…
· and who open their hearts to His voice and listen to the truth.