Fr. Khanh's Page
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We celebrate Christ the King at the end of what is called the Church’s liturgical year. This year is patterned after the story of Christ, beginning with our Advent preparation for his coming through the Lenten season and Holy Week, with the rest of the time devoted to what Jesus said and did.
In the Gospel, Jesus is described as coming in glory and sitting on his throne. But unlike one who lords it over others (Mt 20:25), this King is also “the Good Shepherd” who knows and welcomes his sheep who recognize his voice (Jn 10:14). And the “goats on his left” are those who did nothing for the poor, the stranger and the prisoner with whom Christ the King identifies.
By putting this celebration at the end of the liturgical year, we do not only remember the life of Christ the Shepherd-King but also proclaim that he is the Lord of history. What happens in our world and our lives is taken up in the story of the Shepherd-King in the great epic of salvation history. The lights and darkness of human history, like the beautiful monuments of art and the brutal ravages of wars, are not vicious cycles of greatness and depravity. Our life’s ups and downs do not come from good or bad. Our common histories and personal stories are where the life of the Shepherd-King is relived. Thus are we empowered. And what we do as a people and as individuals counts and makes a difference in the world when we follow the example of the Shepherd-King and build his Kingdom.
We belong to him as true subjects. Yes, we belong to groups or communities, whether chosen or not, like our families, our social networks and even our nations. But more than all these identifications, we belong to Christ, the Shepherd-King who laid down his life for the sheep and identified himself with us all who are in dire need of salvation. And this belonging to him is what marks who we are, our deepest identity.
Your servant in Christ,
Father Khanh D. Nguyen, Pastor