Christ the King Bulletin, January 1996
We are not
in our own power, but in the power of God.
May the peace of the Lord Jesus be with you! That quote
seemed particularly appropriate as we begin our new calendar year.
The sentiment was uttered by St. Perpetua, as she was on her
way to be martyred. If we keep that truth in mind, and pray for
the grace to cooperate with it, we will begin this year and keep
this year surrendered to God. Truth is defined as that which
corresponds to reality. It is simply true that without Him, we
can do nothing. How much grief we would spare ourselves if we
always choose to live that way--fundamentally in touch with reality,
as St. Perpetua obviously was.
Now as we begin this year is a good time to reflect on the
one that has just ended, with an eye to two issues. First, it
might be useful to reflect on all the goodness that the Lord Jesus
has shown to us this year, all the different ways in which His
grace and His presence continued to sustain us on our pilgrim
way. The second thing it might be helpful to reflect on is: how
well did we cooperate with the grace that He lavished on us?
Did we seek His face, seek to know and do His will? The purpose
of this reflection is not to dwell on our failures, but to learn
and go on, that this year we might be even more faithful to Him
Whose love and power sustains us minute by minute.
In a few days we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany--the
feast commemorating the Lord Jesus being manifest to the world.
It reminds us of the serious obligation we have to be the light
of the world to those around us. Yet this very obligation should
be a source of hope, for we know that the Lord Jesus never calls
us to anything without promising us all the grace we need as well
as the path to follow. His commanding us to be the light of the
world and the salt of the earth can actually fill us with joy,
because implied in His command is His continued care for us, sharing
with us His love, mercy, and the power of His Holy Spirit, as
He draws us more and more deeply into the heart of His Church.
Jesus knows, far more profoundly than we do, that if we are to
be effective witnesses for the Kingdom, we have to be able to
demonstrate, by our lives and our words, that our lives actually
work well when lived in the Kingdom. So He promises, not only
for our sake, but also for the sake of those whose lives He wants
to touch by our words and example, to be with us with all the
grace and guidance we need to live joyfully in His Kingdom, under
the Lordship of the King. As we begin this new year, let us plead
with Him to take us deeper, to give us more of His love and the
power of His Spirit, to help us to be grateful for all that He
has done for us.