Christ the King, a Reflection from the President

On Sunday, November 24, we celebrated in the Church the “Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe,” a day more commonly known as the “Feast of Christ the King.” So today, we are celebrating our feast day. As our founder, Fr. John Foley, SJ has said, “Our school movement bears that name, reminding us constantly that the work is not ours. This is a mission that has been entrusted to us to give glory to our King. That also means that we should take time now and then to check back on how we are fulfilling that responsibility. How faithful are we being to this mission of Christ the King/Cristo Rey?” 

Our mission says that we here at Cristo Rey Richmond are “a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose and service.” Faith. Purpose. Service. These are our three core values that guide all that we say and do at Cristo Rey schools. 

So what can we take from this feast? Well, the most important thing is whether Jesus really is the one who you consider your leader, and whether you grasp that God truly does reign over the universe. You know, whenever people read the First Commandment, which talks about not worshiping gods other than the One True God, people sometimes laugh. They say, “Well, I obviously don’t worship some other God. And I don’t have little statues or idols that I worship.” But then if you ask them if their lives are ordered around something like money or status or power or security or physical health, they’ll pause. Because maybe one of those things has become a kind of God for them. A kind of king. So one question to ask yourself this week may be, “Who is in charge of my life?” 

This day reminds us what the Christian thinking is all about: that Jesus really is the King, the Lord of our lives. We can say, with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” If we say anything else, we are horsing around with Christianity and not really living it. If we pay lip service to Jesus but do not submit completely to him, we are fooling around and not treating him as the King of our lives. If we don’t let him into one or two parts of our lives and not every part, he isn’t our King. If we look for and accept opportunities to develop our faith, our sense of purpose in life, and our service to those in need, then Jesus really is our King. 

On this feast of Christ the King, let us allow Christ to reign in our minds, our wills, our hearts and our bodies! Let us recommit ourselves to being followers of the Servant King who are committed to our mission. Let us pray. 

God our comfort and strength, in baptism we were anointed like Jesus as priest, prophet and king. May our lives bear witness to our belief in him, in our love and service, especially to the poor and those on the margins, imitating Christ, our King, who lives and reigns now and for all eternity. Amen. 

Happy feast, everyone! Viva Cristo Rey!

Rev. Mr. Peter J. McCourt
President, Cristo Rey Richmond High School

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