..this last Sunday of the Church Year is the Feast of Christ the King..& as is so often the case we save the best until last.. ..I remember at home when we had a cooked breakfast, I’d eat egg bacon tomatoes mushrooms & then last of all my favourite..the sausage & this evg/morning we celebrate Youth Sunday DSP for our young people..our special disciples who, like my sausage, have a real flavour all of their own, & whose presence & appetite for our faith we celebrate.. “what made you become a monk?” asked an 8yr old in School last week.. a time now to remember our own younger days..a time then, & no less now, of risk adventure & journey..
our examination of conscience is from the book “the boy the mole the fox & the horse”
“what’s the bravest thing you have ever said? asked the boy ..”help” said the horse.. ; Lord have mercy “what do you think is the biggest waste of time?” asked the boy “comparing yourself with others” said the mole.. ; Christ have mercy “what do you think success is?” asked the boy ..”to love” said the mole.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..in General Election campaign in Irish Republic 20yrs ago one of placards for ruling govt festooned on lamp posts of Dublin read “a lot done..more to do” it would have fitted well on the Cross below the well known inscription INRI “this is the King of the Jews” a testament to all he had done so far, & a manifesto of what was to become “through him with him & in him” after his death & Resurrection..on this last Sunday of Church year an opportunity for you & I to look back on this year & remember”a lot done” & to recommit ourselves, to nail our colours & our faith onto the Cross, & onto the door of this Church, & renew our profession as followers of Christ, the Servant King. How has your year of service of others been? “a lot done” & as on my school reports of old “he could do better..he will pass his 11+ if he finishes the paper” what is there in life & in faith I could be doing better? making it a spiritual New Years resolution to take into Advent & Christmas“a lot done..more to do” one aspect of life & faith where so often there seems room for improvement in my life is in the realm of judgementalism..it begins by judging sausage better than bacon, & it corrodes into judging one person better or worse than another.. Pilate a bad cop like Judas, given bad write ups by the evangelists who seek to praise & reward the good, & penalise/write off the bad..prejudice & judgementalism “what do you think is the greatest waste of time?” asked the boy “comparing yourself with others” said the mole..so listen look & pray again the account of Jesus meeting Pilate in private in the Praetorium..one to one..where for first time truth meets truth..& afterwards when Jewish heavy mob, obsessed with writing off a Messiah whose profile & behaviour is radically different to all we expect & now demand, call for Pilate to edit INRI on Cross to “you should write “this man says” he is King of the Jews” Pilate for first time in his life having met the author of truth in person gently responds “what I have written I have written” if only you had seen & heard what I have just seen & heard of this man you want to write off & crucify “if only you knew” the Servant King a servant leader where authority truth conviction was felt heard tasted for first time in a lifetime..& how does our prejudice & judgementalism of Pilate stand up now to scrutiny from the heart?..& the two thieves?.. supposedly one good one bad..look again, put your prejudice on hold..the so called bad thief has faith “are you not the Christ?”. I’ve put my faith & trust in you all these years & I still believe..I will always believe in you, sufficient now to voice the unbelievable “save yourself & us as well”..a faith that believes in prayer & in resurrection, & for all of us, & especially for criminals & sinners..& what of so called goody two shoes?..he writes off his fellow criminal & cuddles up to a Jesus who answers every prayer of mine [mine] on demand..“Jesus remember me [me] when you come into your kingdom” & Lukes Jesus seems to dance to the demand “indeed I promise you [you] today you will be with me in paradise” whereas real Jesus with his spirituality of servant discipleship/parity of esteem would surely have said “indeed I promise you both, today you will both be with me in paradise” & what a wonderful way to end this Church year, with a gospel of inclusivity, realism & authenticity..a faith our young people want to buy into, & yearn to see you & I signing up for same journey..”a lot done..more to do” & together..do we really seek to be remembered by Jesus?..is not our Jesus with us, in us, at every moment until death, & infinitely beyond in infinite love?.. ”I’ve realised why we are here” whispered the boy “for cake” said the mole..”to love” said the boy “to be loved” said the horse..”loved for infinity” said Fr Bede.. [Christ the King Yr C ; Lk 23; 35-43]