This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us to consider the creature which is called time, to receive it as a gift, and begin to really live differently. Yet, for many Catholics who commemorate the Feast, it is just one more somewhat esoteric celebration which we go through every year at this time. This mistake is at least right on one count; it really is all about time.
The Church really is the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His saving mission now through the Church, of which we are members.
Choosing to live the Christian year can speak powerfully to a world that has become deluded by the barrenness of secularism. As our culture moves more and more away from God, we see around us the emptiness of a life without Him; it fails to fulfill the longing in the hearts who do not live for God.
The fathers of the last Second Vatican Council remind us: we the Church walk the way of the person. In other words, the Church is meant to become the home of the whole human race. That deeper encounter, that continual invitation - along with all the graces truly needed to live it - is what lies at the heart of Catholic Christian faith. The Christian Faith is not Some-Thing but Some-One.
One way this occurs in our own lives as Catholic Christians is to move from seeing the Church year as just some kind of "Catholic custom", to seeing it as an invitation to enter into the mysteries of our faith in a manner which informs our entire life. We do not really go to Church; we live in the Church and go into the world, to bring the world through the waters of new birth, into the Church as a new home, a new family. There they will find the grace needed to begin a whole new way of living.
Christians believe in a linear timeline in history. There is a beginning and an end, a fulfillment, which is, in fact, a new beginning. Time is heading somewhere. We reject the sad concept - even present in some other religious traditions - that time is a tyrant entrapping us into an endless cycle which must be broken. Rather, the Catholic Church proclaims that time is a precious commodity. In the insightful words of St Jose Maria Escriva, "Time is our treasure, the "money" with which to buy eternity." (Furrow #882)