In religious life, we have a practice of the provincial visit. Once a year the provincial superior visits each person, talks with him about his life, his health, his work, etc. One year one of the provincials visited a fellow who was known as not exactly a hardworking fellow. This guy said he would like to bring up the issue of retiring from active work. His provincial asked him, “What would be different?”
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. We picture Christ as sitting on the throne and wearing a crown. We can then ask, if He were in charge, if His rule were recognized by all—all over the world—What would be different? What would the evening news, the local news look like? How would we live. In other words, what would it be like if the Kingdom of God were among us?
That’s an important question because in our baptized we were anointed to continue the work of Christ Priest, Prophet and King. As Christ the Priest, we celebrate the Kingdom of God, especially at Mass. As Christ the Prophet, we are called to proclaim the Kingdom of God. Through the eyes of faith we see the world as being a Kingdom of love, justice, and peace. As Christ the King, we are called to build that world. We have a mission to the world.
The goal of evangelization is not just to get people to believe and to pray, but to change the world. That’s why in his document Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope Paul VI said:
- Lay people, whose particular vocation places them in the midst of the world and in charge of the most varied temporal tasks, must for this very reason exercise a very special form of evangelization.
Their primary and immediate task is (not to establish and develop the ecclesial community- this is the specific role of the pastors- but) to put to use every Christian and evangelical possibility latent but already present and active in the affairs of the world. Their own field of evangelizing activity is the vast and complicated world of politics, society and economics (, but also the world of culture, of the sciences and the arts, of international life, of the mass media.
In other words, the Church belongs in the world of politics, society and economics, so that we can build a world where human beings and families can live as God intended at creation.
Because of our baptism we are called and sent into the world to so that there is authentic human development, that is, we are called to build a world so that people can live as God had created them to live, according to their dignity as children of God, without poverty, with their talents developed, keeping their families together, living where they can find work and community, and so forth.
At Mass, we are hearing the Word of God: It describes the world as God intended it should be. It describes the Kingdom of God. We will pray together as the Body of Christ, praying to Our Father, asking that His Kingdom come, After we share the Body of Christ we will be sent into the world, as followers of Jesus Christ, Priest, Prophet, and King. We are sent there to build up the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of love, justice, and peace.
We are on a mission from God.