Stained glass window at the Melkite Catholic Annunciation Cathedral in Roslindale, Massachusetts, depicting Christ the King in the regalia of a Byzantine emperor. JOHN STEPHEN DWYER/CREATIVE COMMONS 3.0

Spiritual Life

Which king will we serve?

Jesus Christ is King! We enter the Solemnity of Christ the King amidst political tension in our own country. This is nothing new when it comes to worldly powers. Power in the world is often built on money, strength and the defeat of one’s enemies. In contrast, the Kingdom of God shows us that those who humble themselves and serve the least in this world will be the greatest in that realm where Jesus Christ is King.

In his Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius of Loyola has a meditation on “The Two Standards.” In this meditation, he uses the imagery of war and battle. His mediation is on two armies, that of the devil and that of Jesus Christ. We are then called to make a decision about under which banner we will fight.

The army of the devil is built by promising worldly glory, vain honor and riches. He describes these traps as chains. The entire army or kingdom that is built is for the honor of Satan himself, who takes all the glory unto himself.

This is contrasted with Jesus Christ the King. He calls simple men and women to follow him. The Gospel message is spread not through force and chains, but through the love of Jesus Christ and his Spirit. It is not riches that are promised, but instead the role of servant. The leader and chief of this army does not do it for his own glory; he is the same Lord who washed the feet of his disciples and laid down his life for us.

We must choose under which banner we want to fight. Which king do we serve? To fight under the banner of Jesus Christ means that we must dedicate our own lives to spreading the Good News of the freedom that is found in the Kingdom of God.

Father Joseph Sund is associate pastor at St. Patrick Parish in O’Neill, St. Joseph Mission in Amelia, Sacred Heart Parish in Boyd County, St. Boniface Parish in Stuart and St. Joseph Parish in Atkinson.

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