A special thank you this week to our friends from St. Mary of the Woods Parish, Chicago in the congregation.

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King Of The Universe

The pastor was greeting folks at the door after Mass one Sunday morning. A woman said, “Father, that was a good homily.” The priest replied, “Oh, I have to give all the credit to the Holy Spirit.” The woman said, “It wasn’t that good.”

There is a story of a priest on a plane from LA back into Chicago some years ago, very tired and wanting some rest. There was a little five year old girl occupying the window seat, her mother next to her in the middle, and the priest on the aisle seat. After the plane took off, the seat for the sign belt went off, the little girl looked out the window, noticed the clouds below her, and started yelling, “Mommy, mommy, we’re upside down. We’re going to crash.” Mother tried to tell her five year old daughter the plane was above the clouds and that everything was going to be fine. The girl cried out even louder, “Mommy, mommy, we’re upside down. We’re going to crash.”

The priest, very tired and by this time a little bit annoyed, calmly looked at the little girl and said, “You’re right, we are upside down, but everything will be okay.” The little girl relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the flight.

The point of the story is that our lives can sometimes feel upside down. At times our lives may feel confused, meaningless, and even hopeless. We feel everyone, including God, has abandoned us. Christ the King turns upside down our understanding of Christ our King. We all know that nothing is free. Everything costs something. That’s why we ask, “What does it cost?”

The same holds true in our personal life, beyond the price tag in the store. There’s a price to be paid for our choices and our consequences. This Feast of Christ the King brings to the end our liturgical church year, which is a very fitting celebration. We celebrate the one who rules over us, not with power, but rather with love, compassion, and mercy. At times, we will suffer, hurt, and be turned upside down, but Christ our King, who served, who suffered, and suffering can make us bitter or better, and the choice is ours.