One of the recurrent little challenges of married life for us is finding a movie or TV show to watch together, something we would both enjoy. If you look at the streaming history for my husband’s account, you will find plenty of history themes… war documentaries, epic battles, kings, and empires. On the other hand, if you were to look at my streaming history, you would find period dramas, but those that focus more on the individual characters, their stories, their losses, and their loves. My interests have always focused more on the individual rather than the whole. But compromising and watching some of the epic stories he likes has taught me about things I did not understand before.
My husband has always been an avid student of History; myself, not so much. This is one of the reasons I have always had a harder time than him relating to Christ as our King. I didn't really have a proper idea in my mind of what a king is supposed to look like, of what it is they are supposed to do. The Kingship of Christ always seemed like a foreign concept to me. Yet, every year, the Church brings this to my attention when we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. Every year, I've had to grapple with the question, what does this mean for me?
One thing that I have come to realize is that this is one devotion where our two different approaches can actually meet. The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe… that is the big picture.
All things are made subject to him.
This is the part where He speaks directly to me. I might not have a very good grasp of what might go on at the level of cosmic battle or even worldwide kingship, but I know what it is to feel a battle within my own heart. A battle of good vs. evil, of love vs. selfishness. I know what it is to want His Peace to rule my heart.
This is what the Solemnity of Christ the King means to me. Each year I am invited to spend some time assessing the areas in my life where I still have not given up my own ruling. Those are becoming easier to identify as His Peace rules more and more in my life.
A few years ago, as an extension of a devotion that had been growing in my heart since childhood, a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we decided to consecrate our family by participating in an Enthronement to the Sacred Heart.
At the time, we did not fully grasp what it meant to place Jesus as the King of Our Family, as the King of Our Hearts, but with childlike faith, we entrusted our most precious possession into His Most Loving Heart. This was a conscious decision on our part. A realization that, though we fall short often, our desire is to allow Him to fully reign in every aspect of our lives.
And you know what happens when you give Jesus permission to come in and take charge? He takes you at your word. Gently, perfectly, through happy times and sad, little by little, you find that you truly belong to His Heart. And, as beautiful and consoling as knowing that Jesus is in me, ruling more and more of my heart, His Kingdom doesn't stop there. It doesn't stop at our family either, for we are all connected, part of the same Body. We know that one person's sin affects many; we have all experienced this in our lives. If sin has effects outside the individual, imagine how much more effect GRACE has.
When our home becomes a stronghold for the Kingdom of God, it becomes a source of grace for all. Each domestic Church, even with all our failings and shortcomings, is called to be a beacon of light, a refuge for sinners, a place where Love reigns and Truth shines. Each of our homes, beginning with each of our hearts, becoming those places where the King can rest His head for a while.
And when the world asks, Who is this king of glory? Where will we point them to, but to the live-beating Eucharistic Heart? This is the One they seek, yet they don't know, just like this is the One we seek, but we forget.
Let us then open up the gates of our hearts and let the King of Glory in. Let Him take possession of every aspect of our lives… Let His Eucharistic Kingdom reign, and His Peace rule our hearts.
The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque for those who practice devotion to His Sacred Heart (*Private Revelation)
(The Twelve Promises | Sacred Heart Apostolate, Inc.)