Some consolation: Jesus, not a politician, is lord and king

| Deacon Chad VanHoose | November 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

Every other November in the United States, we can count on contentious political elections as we hear doomsday readings at Sunday Mass. Coincidence?

This year is no different as we contemplate the future of our country in light of Jesus’ prophetic words about the destruction of the Jerusalem temple and the apocalyptic images that will mark the end of days.

Today it seems that most of the world is increasingly at odds with Christian ideals. Indeed, as we read the signs of our times, some might even wonder if that day of wrath is soon approaching when natural disasters will swell, wars will escalate, and the Church will endure severe persecutions.

Yet, every age has its trials, and American Christians in 2016 would do well to study how the Church has responded under difficult circumstances throughout the various epochs. In this examination, a second-century letter written to a man named Diognetus might be helpful to ponder.

The anonymous author of the letter describes Christians as “[living] in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country.”

Whether or not we have politicians who represent Christian interests in the government is of secondary importance when we examine our situation from an eternal perspective.

These days of November culminate every year with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, as a lasting reminder to Christians that despite our troubles in this world, Jesus has conquered the world (Jn 16:33). We can have peace knowing that Jesus is both lord and king, and his kingship goes beyond this world.

The Letter to Diognetus concludes by describing this longed-for reality: “Christians live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven.” While we live here, we should certainly work to make the world a better place by loving others and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

God’s kingdom is already in our midst, yet we pray for its consummation every time we pray the Lord’s prayer. Worrying about whether the final tribulation is just around the corner will only leave us empty and anxious. But giving the Lord permission to reign in our hearts today will bring us security and eternal peace that no one can take away.

Deacon VanHoose is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His teaching parish is Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, and his home parish is St. Joseph in West St. Paul.


Sunday, Nov. 13
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings

  • Mal 3:19-20a
  • 2 Thes 3:7-12
  • Lk 21:5-19

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Category: Sunday Scriptures