In our ordinary lives we focus so much on the things of this world. How can I make more money? Do I need a nicer car? Apple just came out with a new generation of the iPhone and I need it. We want the next best and greatest item on the market because we believe it will bring us happiness and secure our place among our friends. In a sense, we are building up our own kingdom while here on earth. Our homes are our castles. Our cars are our chariots. And we are the rulers of our kingdom.
We are reminded by our celebration of Christ the King Sunday and by our readings that there is another kingdom about which we should be concerned and there is a king whom we should strive to serve in this life so we can be citizens of his kingdom for eternity.
How then do I live right now for the Heavenly Kingdom? The first reading from Daniel says that “all peoples, nations and languages serve him.” As I live in this earthly kingdom, I strive to serve the Lord in all that I do. One of the most concrete ways we serve Jesus is by recognizing him in the poor and marginalized. I also serve the Lord when I follow his commands and seek to please him by my life. Service in this life prepares us for the eternal kingdom.
The second reading from Revelation tells us that when Jesus comes amid the clouds “every eye will see him.” We will see our king and we will know him. To prepare ourselves for the heavenly kingdom, we try to get to know Jesus more so that we will recognize him when we see him face to face. We read the Gospels and study his life so we might know him and all that he has done for us.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us his kingdom does not belong to this world. He was born of Mary and lived our life to show us the way to the eternal kingdom. In this life, we can renounce the things of this world, and begin to live with the hope of the eternal kingdom. Know Jesus, love Jesus and serve Jesus now and you will begin living for the kingdom that has no end.
Fr. Looney pastors the Catholic parishes in Brussels and Lincoln/Rosiere. He is the author of “Meditations After Holy Communion.”