The Solemnity of Christ the King allows us time to reflect on whose voice we listen to when seeking guidance for our lives. In an age where personal autonomy is king, there can be a sense of alienation towards bowing down to an external authority. Each person can tend to work within their system of government by paying taxes, obeying the local law, and participating in elections when they are held. Yet in many cases, we are not called to love our rulers rather we learn to accept them as a necessary part of life. Yet the feast we celebrate is not just about accepting external structures of governance but rather an interior conversion of heart towards the person of Christ. There is a call to holiness that abides with us so that we can become teachable and governable.
I believe this lies at the heart of the recent Synod on Synodality. It is not just about a new external structure of Governance but rather a way of being present to God with listening ears. The call is to seek out the voice of God that is ever ancient and ever new. The voice that echoes through our liturgical prayer that gathers us together as one body. This is not just an effective manifestation of the presence of Jesus but also an affective presence that guides us still. The call to fall more deeply in love with God who has already fallen deeply in love with us. By seeking God in our daily life, we discover what it is to be prayerfully present to the issues of our day that seek for our hearts to beat in tune with God’s. This is not just seeking warm comforting feelings but rather a deeper desire to recognise the authentic voice of God spoken to our age.
This process of sanctification allows us to seek holiness in a way that does not abstract us from the real problems of our age. It draws on the wisdom of our tradition, the insights into scripture, and the discernment of theologians to witness the golden thread that bears an authentic teaching that can be received for our time. This is not just about changing with the times but rather a reading of the signs of the time. It examines a line of inquiry that seeks to build on what is already known and allows for fresh insight of Christ into the teachable moments of our lives.
Through this call to sanctification and becoming teachable the Church seeks to provide governance as an apostolic witness to the person of Christ. As a pilgrim people of God, we seek to journey together as people who through baptism are gifted with both the charism of Office and the charism of Mission. We seek to become people who articulate with our lives what we already believe that Christ is with us. Thus, as we celebrate this solemnity do we entrust our lives to Christ in whom we discover who we are and become evangelised by his life.
Fr. John Armstrong