HIS PLAN STANDS FOREVER
I’m keenly aware of time, as most of you reading this blog are too. I feel like it was just March 2020 and we were in the throes of the beginning stages of the pandemic, stockpiling and isolating to keep ourselves and each other safe. Over a year later and suddenly I see the gentle introduction of green pine for the season beginning to line the storefronts and sidewalks for sale before we’ve even toasted a toast of thanks with turkey among our family and friends. Time is moving. And as fast as it’s moving, there is still waiting, wondering and the urgency of prayer amid a changing world that somehow seems stalled in the midst of speed.
With the passage of time, we like to mark progress, improvement and tasks accomplished. In this era of pandemic which seems to have taken on more than a season of our lives, these most recent challenges of our lives leave us wondering what can we accomplish when our world, space and circles seem to have condensed. What will we become? What will we produce? Where will we direct our love? Can we be anything in such a harness of bottled time and motion?
These questions besiege many who feel they will never evolve, grow or move in the direction of their heart’s desires in the deepest yearning of the art of becoming. The past two years seem to have thrown us all a major life curve ball that in part has shuttered our dreams, our progress, our connections and friendships and challenged us to reimagine our lives and what we hoped for based on the reality of an era of confinement. Distancing, home office, virtual lives and constancy of a looming virus breathing down our backs are not real lives and yet we have made the best of it, a go of it and adapted. Many have left their physical place of dreams to migrate to safer states and dwelling places and with that, have left their aspirations on altar of God’s own heart.
Does He see? Does He know?
As I meditate on this past year – the Year of Saint Joseph, I am struck with the fact that the Holy Family was delivered the biggest curve ball ever. JESUS. Mary was visited by an angel and invited to be the vessel of Grace to carry and bring forth the source of all our salvation. It was lonely. It was a sacrifice. It required a place of hiddenness. It required that she had God’s favor. She became connected to Heaven in the world and not of the world. This curve ball was wrought with perceived scandal. It was a contradiction. Yet with all all these things – there were miracles. The story was in progress with the living out of a private prophecy. Her companion for this divine assignment was Saint Joseph. A man who knew prayer and a man who was divinely chosen and set a part like her. Some of the brokenness of how it looked to the world may give the illusion of haphazardness or “happy” accident. Yet none of it was by accident. It was pre-destined. God used all the attributes of simplicity and confinement, humility and docility, prayer and obedience to reap a Divine reward. This Divine reward was not just for Mary and Joseph. They would be used to bring Salvation to the entire world. A great mission and destiny doesn’t happen in a flash. Destiny requires pruning, patience, forbearing, love, preparation. These things don’t occur amid rapid pace, over busyness and worldly status.
This weekend is the honoring of Christ the King (a reminder that He sits on the throne) and the weekend after, we begin Advent – not so much an end, but a beginning – a new Liturgical season, and an opportunity to put everything of ours inside the manger of unmet expectations.
I have had my share of challenges over these past two years, as have you. I have had to migrate, move, wait, suffer and be pruned. I know you have too. I don’t believe any of our brokenness, obstacles, exiles and littleness is outside of His scope. It’s the very character of what God uses for His glory. If you have felt hidden, set back or have been dealt curve balls that seem insurmountable, know that God Himself is the God of confinement, set backs and curve balls. He IS the almighty curve ball – One who came into this world as a baby, the greatest most majestic King who opted the tiniest human form to enter our world of sin and sorrow to redeem us in the most contradicting and surprising way. A King born in the messiness of a manger in a cave with barn animals. An exile from the start. Is that you?
If you feel little this weekend, place yourself at the feet of great big King Jesus who in his majestic Glory can bring greatness from nothingness. His Holy Family is one who knew suffering and set back, detour and hiddenness for the sake of revealing the Heart of a true King which doesn’t come to lord over over but to seek and save the lost. Our King is a servant. Our King was a spotless lamb who became a Sacrifice on the Cross. Our King had His side cut open to pour forth everlasting water of Grace and Mercy. A flow that is not stagnant, but teaming with Life.
Time is in His hands. Your life is in His hands. He works in the secret and hidden places. What is for you will not pass you by. If you are in the waiting and struggling in the confinement or on the run without a home, He is working and united with you there. May this feast of Christ the King and the coming Advent reveal His glory in greater ways and teach us all to love the hidden things in Christ as He prepares us, hides us, grows us in His love before He invites us to say “yes” to whatever curve ball requires our Fiat.
I love that we look first to Christ the King and then walk toward Christmas with the knowledge that it’s a baby who was born for our sake. God challenges us to be little all the time, so that His very greatness will come from that. Nothing we do is by our own power, but by His which should be the contradiction that enters the world we live in now. The world might be changing, but He never does. Our lives are a sign to His great power to do anything, even though we are nothing.
My hope is in Him – the great King who turns the world on its head and leads His people to His plan that is unchanging. God’s promise stands. His plan stands. When you see him move for you amid the chaos of change, virus, quarantine, separation and lack, it will be for His glory and you will testify to the New Born King who moved and did what he said He would do.
Pray with me. Praying for you+
A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. (2) A plenary indulgence is granted, if it is recited publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King. Remember – pray this in church on Sunday, November 21 or on Sat. Nov. 20.
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968
JESUS, Thou didst declare that Thy Kingdom is upon the earth, but not of the earth; it is a spiritual, supernatural Kingdom, the Kingdom of truth. It fights with the power of conviction, and conquers by this means the hearts that by right belong to it. Thou Thyself art witness to this truth, and Thou Thyself art the Truth.
Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly a King because Thou hast come into the world to institute among people the rule of God; every person who is of the truth, who believes in God and recognizes His authority in human affairs, owes Thee a loyal and undivided allegiance and “hears Thy voice.”
I am a member of Thy Kingdom, and Thou art my King. To Thee I owe loyalty, obedience, and love. Help me to carry out these most sacred duties toward Thee. I wish to be “of the truth ” that is “a child of God” and gladly to hear Thy voice and follow Thee in all things. I accept Thee as my King and submit to Thy authority.
Reign supremely in my heart and in my life. Thy reign is heavenly peace; Thy law is love. Help me to pray and work that Thy Kingdom may come into every soul, every family, every nation.
Jesus, since I honor Thee as my King, I come to Thee with great confidence, asking Thee to grant this special favor, if it be Thy holy Will:
(Mention your request)
Lord Jesus Christ, my King, I adore Thee as the Son of God, and through the prayers of Thy most loving Mother I beg of Thee, send me from out of the abundance of Thy loving Heart the grace of the Holy Spirit in order that He may enlighten my ignorance, purify and sanctify my sinful heart, and confirm me in Thy holy love. This I request through the love of the Father and the Holy Spirit, through Thine infinite mercy, and through the merits of all Thy Saints. Amen.
CHRIST, Jesus, I acknowledge Thee as King of the universe. All that has been made has been created for Thee. Make full use of Thy rights over me.
I renew the promises I made in Baptism when I renounced Satan and all his pomps and works. I promise to live a good Christian life. Especially, I undertake to help, to the extent of my means, to secure the triumph of the rights
of God and of Thy Church. Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer Thee my poor efforts so that all hearts may acknowledge Thy sacred Royalty and the Kingdom of Thy peace may be established throughout the entire universe. Amen.
Citations on the Kingship of Christ from Scripture
“The Kingdom of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the Gospel!” -Mk 1:14
“My Kingdom is not of this world. At this Pilate said to Him, ‘So, then, You are a king?’ Jesus replied: ‘You are right in saying I am a King. The reason I was born, the reason why I came into the world, is to testify to the truth.’ ” -Jn 18:36-39