Monday, November 24, 2008

The Shepherd King

Yesterday was the feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, and the new Church year!

I can't believe it. 

I was getting a start on my Advent promise to 'Lectio' (a verb we created when I was with the postulants. It is the action of praying Lectio Divina ;) and prayed the Gospel readings for yesterday. I was struck by the 'Shepherd' images, although the feast is called 'Christ the King'. 

Why all the readings about Shepherds? Why not about Kings?

But then everything I had learned in one of my spirituality classes last fall with the Daughters came back. We had a whole course on Christ the Divine Master- the image of Christ the Daughters pray with- and how the Divine Master is not a Master that exploits His power, or derives power from the powerless as we think of today. He becomes powerless Himself, by taking on human form, and also the form of the Eucharist. Our daily bread.

And so it makes sense that the Church chooses readings about Shepherds because that is what a King is really meant to do, after all. It is amazing that our culture today automatically assumes power to be oppressive and authoritative, when that is not the power that God has shown us. God has shown us His power by sending us a 'Shepherd King'. 

Even reflecting, then, on the Kings and Shepherds who gather at the Nativity Scene...using once again my 'skills' from postulancy, this time from Fr. Soto's class. It does not matter if that scene is accurate. There may or may not have actually been kings and shepherds at the scene of Christ's birth. What matters is what the Lord teaches us through that scene He gives us, and through it, He does indeed show that Kings and Shepherds meet as One in the stable. They come to the manger together, just like they will in heaven, and just as they do in the Person of Christ.

I hope that reflection was helpful for you like it was for me. It's like the passage from St. Paul to the Philippians: 
'Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness..."
(Phil. 2: 5-7)
This passage gives me so much hope. That God does not demand we be equal to him, but rather he humbles Himself to become like us. That is how much He loves us!

If only our leaders could truly model His humility. That is something we will continue to pray for!

And in exciting, but somewhat unrelated Strukely family sister Janet got engaged yesterday on this great feast! yeah! I was actually at Mass when I got the 'call', but I had known about it ahead of time. Her fiance, Josh, is great and was very thoughtful to call me ahead of time and let me know of his intentions and plans. I am excited for my sister and to welcome Josh into our crazy family!

God bless you all! Thanks again for reading :)

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