When Pope Francis was in Poland this past July, he gave a beautifully simple and rich homily on the Kingdom. When I was preparing for the Feast of Christ the King, I clicked around online to find his homily again and see what spiritual nuggets I could pull out.
Little: Pope Francis’ description of Jesus Christ and the Person He is resonates in my heart. Christ is not someone so high and lofty- beyond me- that I can’t relate to. He comes down to our level, draws close especially to the little ones- the ones who recognize their need for him and accept him and his grace with openness and trust. He entrusts the treasure of salvation- the gift of Himself- yet in a way that is so “unspectacular” that it can be easily overlooked…the Eucharist, a baby born in a manger, a carpenter’s son.
Near: He comes not only to relate to humanity in general, but God through Christ draws near to ME. He enters into my life, my history, and walks the journey of life with each of us in a personal way. He is not afraid or put off by our struggles, weaknesses, or problems. In fact, these are the very opportunities He takes to shower His mercy upon us, letting it soak through these “cracks” into the depths of our hearts.
Real: God touches and enters what is…not what should or could be. He takes us as we are, embraces us, lifts us up, and accompanies us along life’s journey. Our own expectations and securities can keep us from “letting go” and surrendering control. He is pleased to give us the Kingdom! The Kingdom of His Heart. He is the Kingdom…where Christ is, there is the Kingdom.
May this journey towards the Christ the King and the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy be a continued experience of the JOY of Christ living WITHIN us.
Full text of Pope Francis’ Homily: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2016/documents/papa-francesco_20160728_omelia-polonia-czestochowa.html