ERICKSON: Keeping Christ the king of our hearts

November 23, 2021

So we have arrived at the end of our liturgical year and ended it on a high note by celebrating the Feast of Christ the King. This solemnity was instituted by Pius XI in 1925.

His reasons were valid; the world was vastly changing, causing our Savior to be forgotten and even outright rejected. The last century, the most misled and bloodiest in history, was riddled with attempts to eliminate Christianity. Socialism, communism, (rugged) individualism, tyranny of many kinds, terrorism and extreme secularism have all taken their toll on the freedom of Christianity and have eroded the conscience of humanity.

The institution of this feast reminds mankind that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all and the King of our hearts.

Extreme secularism threatens the Kingdom of God, the Church, in the present post-modern world. It eclipses man’s heart, making him blind.

However, the heart isn’t totally blind, and due to the grace of God and His mercy, he can find His King and once more enthrone Him. There are many things we can do to reach the goal of total enthronement.

First, build a relationship with your King, your God. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help define your relationship with your King. Let the Queen of Heaven teach you about her Son: She is the best teacher! Scripture and all the saints are ready to serve and teach you. Approach the Lord, and let Him open His massive treasure chest of love to you. He is a King who comes to serve and not to be served. God is Love. Adore and praise Him, and make sure your participation at Mass is dynamic. Remember, you are in His throne room!

Second, encounter your neighbor. Prepare to serve their needs. Learn who they are and where they have journeyed. This helps prepare you for the day when they truly need you, and they will need their King.

Third, evangelize! Teach the faith. Share your experience. Witness. Teach first by example and later with words. Continually serve others in humility and patience. In this rigidly secular world, the A, B, Cs of the faith are going to be the toughest sell. Sadly, there are so many out there who do not realize that Jesus is a real person. Share Him with others!

Fourth, catechize. Teach the faith in your home, spread the Good News of the King in society, and volunteer to teach in your parish communities if you are able. Form people’s hearts to the salvific news of the King.

Fifth, serve. Feed the poor, clothe the naked. The Kingdom restores dignity to mankind. Get out there and live out both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which sadly, many of us Catholics are unaware of. Pope Francis has lamented over this fact. Let us learn the works and live a life of charity.

Sixth, get involved with faith communities. Join Bible studies and faith groups. Deepen your heart and commitment to the King of Kings!

Seventh, summation of the other prior six points: Live your three-fold office of priest, prophet and king in the most dynamic way. His Majesty waits for your response, your participation!

Break free from the shackles of the world and enthrone Jesus in your hearts. The promises of secularism are empty. Our consciences must be free to love our God without conditions. We must overcome some awful barriers that erode our consciences.

As of now, many Christians worldwide are being persecuted. Once we totally commit to His Lordship, we can truly celebrate the Feast of Christ the King!

Viva Christo Rey! †

Carl Erickson is as the director of Galveston’s Newman Center Campus Ministry serving students from UTMB, Galveston College, Texas A&M University at Galveston, and College of the Mainland.