Feast of Christ the King
November 25, 2018
He Had God
Recently a psychiatrist talked about her first appointment with a new client – and, of course, his name remained anonymous.
This man had been off of drugs for six months and was living in a sober house. He was working hard to cope with the mood swings and sleeplessness and other challenges that often come with early sobriety.
The issues that had to be addressed to repair his life were overwhelming – depression, drug addiction, trauma, homelessness, and unemployment. And yet, the client sitting in her office was very willing and very polite.
The psychiatrist asked him, “What is keeping you going?”He said calmly, “Why, nothing but God.”
He appeared to have turned himself over to a new father – to God. He felt that God would love and manage him better than his own father had.
At one point, he, the client, asked her, the psychiatrist, “How were you raised?”“Me?”
He persisted. “What do you believe?”
The psychiatrist says that she felt somewhat embarrassed and lonely. It struck her that one of them had a home, a job, and a family, and the other appeared to have nothing.
Yet the one with nothing was not lonely. The psychiatrist said, “I have great respect for people who believe.”
He simply said, “Ah!”They then set the next appointment and he got up to leave.
He turned to her and said, “I’ll pray for you, you know.”She says that those words stayed with her all morning.
This man, her client, had nothing. But he did have God.
God Was His All
That story appeared in The Boston Globe.
For that man, the client, God was his all, his everything. It was God who was getting him through and keeping him going.
God Is Our All: Alpha and Omega
This, as I see it, is the point of what we celebrate today in our Church.
I find the title of Christ the Kinga bit awkward. Jesus is not a monarch like King Henry VIII or Queen Elizabeth.
Here we are not talking about power or pomp or politics. Instead, I see the words in today’s second reading as really opening up what Jesus is for us.
Jesus himself says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.”You probably know that Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
So, Jesus is saying that he is the Alpha, the first, the origin of all that is. He is one with the Creator in bringing all there is, including us, into being.
And Jesus also says, “I am the Omega.”He is the last, the endpoint, our goal and destiny.
What This Means
So, with these words, Jesus gives us a powerful way for understanding our lives.
He is our Alpha – the One from whom we come – and our Omega – the One to whom we will someday return. And, as I see it, if he is that, he is our all, our everything, much as God was for the man in the psychiatrist’s office.
No question, our loved ones are valuable, probably invaluable to us. In that sense, they are everything to us.
But, in another way, Jesus is our everything. If he is our origin and our destiny, then he is also our way and companion for everything in between.
So, the words that I choose to use to express myself maybe especially when I am frustrated; the decisions that we make on how to deal with a relationship or a marriage problem; how to treat employees or how to do our job for our employer – my idea is that Jesus is to be our reference point for all of this.
And, of course, when we are hurting or lost, something like the man in that psychiatrist’s office, Jesus is our sure foundation. He is the secure base who helps us to get by and keep on going.
It is in this sense that we can say that Jesus is a King. This is why our Church honors him with this title today.