It is fitting that Christ the King Sunday is the end to Ordinary Time—because the Feast of Christ the King is meant to remind us that we must love God above all things with our minds, our bodies, and our hearts. It is a call to be more than nominally Christian, a reminder to go beyond calling ourselves Catholic and actually live out the message of Christ.
The feast itself was created as a type of rally cry for Catholics to rejoin, refocus, and rejuvenate the Church. This feels necessary today, as well. With so many people claiming Christianity and pushing selfish, oppressive, destructive messages out of fear, it is time again for us to rally—to come together to remember who and what our faith stems from—to go back to scripture and remind ourselves and each other that there was a man hanging on a cross for a crime he didn’t commit being told to save himself. Being sneered at, scoffed, and taunted. Who instead chose to love others, to welcome them to the table, to allow them to dine with him and bathe his feet. Who talked to them, healed them, invited them to the Kingdom with him. And who continues to invite them even thousands of years later through the actions of those who follow his example.
It’s a solemn celebration. This week, right before the waiting of Advent, right as our culture starts pulling out jingle bells, sleighs, and “reason for the season” decor, we are reminded that Jesus died. Jesus died. And the very last thing he did was forgive. So let’s end Ordinary Time together with the call to act as Jesus did—to forgive, to love, and to invite people into that love.
Lena Chapin is the development director for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. After graduating from John Carroll University with Bachelors of Arts degrees in both English and Communications, she spent a year in Immokalee, Florida with the Humility of Mary Volunteer Service.