25 March 2013

Here Is Your King: Do Not Be Afraid

Do not be afraid.  Your King is coming to you.

Come up to the Feast and meet Him.  Recline at His Table and share His Supper with Him.  Love Him and serve Him, as you are able; also by loving and serving the poor and the needy among you.

But do not be afraid.

Only understand what it means for Him to be your King; and what that will mean for you — to be His disciple; to be His friend; to go after Him, and to follow Him, and to hang out with Him.

His Kingdom and His Power and His Glory are not of this world, but of the Cross.  His Hour has come, for Him to be glorified, when He has come to Jerusalem to be handed over, to suffer and die.

It is by His death that He is glorified and reigns as your King; because it is by His death that He saves His people from their sins.  It is by His innocent suffering and death, His Cross and Passion, that He saves you from all your sins, from all your guilt and shame, from death and condemnation.  It is by His wounds that you are healed and made alive forever.

This is the purpose for which He has come.  It is for this that He became true Man, conceived and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s mortal flesh and blood.  For this that He was baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit.  For this that He enters Jerusalem, seated on a donkey’s colt.

This is grace, divine mercy and compassion, the Love of God for poor, miserable sinners: for you.

Thus, the royal banner forward goes, and great David’s greater Son shall be enthroned upon the wood of the Cross to reign in triumph from that tree of death.

That is how He tramples sin, death, and Satan under His feet — those beautiful feet with which He has come to preach the sweet Gospel — those feet which St. Mary of Bethany tenderly anointed beforehand: But for what?  To be cruelly contorted and nailed to the central beam of the Cross, and buried in the ground.

So does He now feed you with His Body and His Blood from His nail-pierced hands; and the royal scepter of His Word governs the heavens and the earth with the Spirit that He breathes upon His disciples from the depths of His Passion.

Here, then, is your King.  He comes to reign over you in love from His Cross.

His death has atoned for your sins and conquered your death.  His Word of the Cross forgives you and raises you from the dead.

And for this, the world hates you and conspires to kill you!  That’s your perk and privilege for being a close personal friend of this crucified King.  To die with Him is your glory as a Christian.

Do not be afraid.  As often as you die, you shall live.  The Lord your God shall raise you up again.

For now, He raises you to newness of life, each day, under the Cross, in the midst of suffering.  But, at the last, He shall raise you forever to recline at His Table in His Father’s Kingdom.

Come to meet Him here in this foretaste of that Feast to come.  For here at His Table, in His Royal Banquet, His crucified and risen Body, and His Blood — which are indeed the greatest treasures in heaven and on earth — are given to you for grace and life and every blessing, now and forever.

In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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