by Sister Jane Riha
The feast we celebrate on Sunday, Nov. 25, completes the liturgical year. Pope Pius XI proclaimed this a feast in 1925 just after World War I. It was intended to help people put their faith and trust in God, King of the Universe. Over time, the celebration emphasized the counter-cultural aspect of faith in contrast to secularism.
How appropriate to culminate the year by proclaiming that we belong to the reign of love and truth. Christ's royalty covers the earth like the wings of a hen, nestling all under His protective care. The Kingship of Jesus is in direct contrast to worldly power. This King knows oppression, comes riding on a colt, washes the feet of the disciples and the poor, preaches truth and love. This is Jesus, the Servant King.
In the Gospel, Jesus declares that his kingdom does not belong to this world. Our call is to be loving and truthful persons in God's universe. What are the challenges in living life in contrast to the worldly values of power, prestige, status, and consumerism?
by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible" Hebrews 11:1-3
Faith is the human response to God, who reveals. Faith is a concrete gift from the Holy Spirit, who plants the seeds of faith within us, nourishes and strengthens our faith and brings us to perfection in it.
The Scriptures offer us many models of faith, beginning with Abraham. Mary, the Mother of God, is the most perfect embodiment of faith in God's word. Through faith, we are linked to generations of believers from whom we receive faith so that we share it and witness to others as we live it.
For a Christian, faith is a personal and a communal act. Faith is necessary for salvation. The Word of God and the sacraments of the Church nourish and sustain us to live, grow and persevere in faith till the end.