Who we are

Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.

Ministry Mission

Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.

Peace, Justice, Creation

We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.

Spirituality

We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.

LITURGY NOTES FOR THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING, 2018

christ the king 2

Feast of Christ, Heart of the Universe

November 25th 2018

Suggested formula for recognition of indigenous people and their land.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land where we are now gathered,

(the ……)  and recognise that it continues to be sacred to them.

We hail them: as guardians of the earth and of all things that grow and breed in the soil; as trustees of the waters – [the seas, the streams and rivers, the ponds and the lakes] - and the rich variety of life in those waters.

We thank them for passing this heritage to every people since the Dreamtime.

We acknowledge the wrongs done to them by newcomers to this land and we seek to be partners with them in righting these wrongs and in living together in peace and harmony.

As we do this, we must also acknowledge the loss of their hunting grounds,

the destruction of their ceremonial places and sacred sites, 

and the great loss of life from all kinds of violence and disease,

and that the land was never given away.

Peace remains possible. And if peace is possible, it is also a duty! Pope Benedict XVI 

 

If there is hunger anywhere in the world,

 then our celebration of the Eucharist

 is incomplete everywhere in the world.    

Pedro Arrupe SJ, former Jesuit superior general

 

None of us have the right to avert our gaze

William Sloan Coffin, 1924-2006

 

The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.

William Sloan Coffin

 christ the king logo
 

Liturgy of the Word

 

First Reading: Daniel 7:13-14

Responsorial Psalm Ps 93:1, 1-2, 5 R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.

Second Reading Revelation 1:5-8

Gospel John 18:33b-37

Penitential Rite

  • Jesus, you came to be the servant of all people, who are sick, vulnerable and marginalised: Jesus, have mercy.
  • Jesus, in your total commitment to love, you laid down you life for all: Christ, have mercy.
  • Jesus, you did not seek power and privilege, but established your Reign on truth and love. Jesus, have mercy.

Opening Prayer

God of hope,

the mystery of Jesus’ sovereignty

over every age and nation illumines our lives.

Open our hearts, and remove from us,

every desire for privilege and power

and direct us in the love of Christ

to care for the least of our brothers and sisters.

or

Opening Prayer

God of hope,

open our eyes to the sign of Jesus' coming

and make us see him

already walking by our side.

Keep us faithful in hope

and vigilant in our love for you

and our concern for one another.

Prayers of the Faithful

Introduction: Let us pray through Jesus Christ, that the reign of God may become real and concrete among us. Response: May you reign in us, O God.

  • For political and religious leaders everywhere, that they may call people to compassion, reconciliation and forgiveness rather than lead them to revenge and further violence, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For peace and justice in the Middle East: we pray for the people of Gaza at this difficult time as they again threatened by a stronger power and may the Palestinian and Israeli people grow together in unity and peace, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For peoples everywhere who live under oppressive regimes whether state or non-state, that they may have their cries for justice and peace, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.

 

  • For the people of Paris, and all people who have suffered violence such as in Lebanon, the Philippines, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and West Papua, we pray in solidarity for them and that their cries be heard, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For all who exercise power and authority in this world: may they like Jesus accept power as a means to serve all who are vulnerable and defenceless, effective, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.

 

  • For all people who act in response to the needs of their sisters and brothers, may they be strengthened knowing that they reflect the face of the compassionate God in their midst, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For all who are unable to see the presence of a God of love in the diversity around us and would impose an intolerant God who demands uniformity on others, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For all churches and all faiths that they may come to see the richness in the other through inter-religious dialogue: may all people be strong in their love, service and compassion rather than seek power and privilege we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For people who live with HIV and AIDS: may all work to stop fear, shame, ignorance and injustice so that people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the world will experience God’s nearness through the love of others, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For women and men who strive to eliminate violence against others and heal the fractures within community life, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.

 

  • For world leaders, for miracles of collaboration that they may see in the migrant and the refugee not a problem to be solved but brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.
  • For safe travel for those who return home or back to college on this Thanksgiving weekend, with gratitude for the bonds of family and friendship that have brought us together, we pray, May you reign in us, O God.

 

Final Prayer: God and gracious God, fill us with a greater desire to bring your reign to this Earth. Mold our hearts, sharpen our senses to hear your voice and fill us with your wisdom and grace. Help us create a world where truth and justice find a home. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

or

Final Prayer: God and gracious God, we pray for the fullness of the coming of Jesus, the Heart of the Universe, in all places and in the hearts of all people who bear witness to your love and presence in every place in this world.

Prayer over the Gifts

God of hope,

you have put into our hands a piece of bread and a little wine

for the growth of your Reign and the future of the world.

May we be effective instruments searching for new ways

where the hungry find food and the thirsty are satisfied.

Prayer after Communion

God of hope,

we recognise Jesus, the Centre of our lives, in this Eucharist.

May we respond by becoming, like him,

people who live for others,

by being instruments of your healing

where your peace reigns in the hearts of all people. 

or

Prayer after Communion

God of hope,

you have entrusted a future in our hands.

May our celebration of this Eucharist,

help us to seek this future

as a challenge to be creative

and to build up a new world

by the power of Jesus Christ,

who at work in us and in our world.

or

God of hope,

in this Eucharist we have given thanks to you
and acclaimed Jesus your Son and his power in our lives.
Nourished by the bread of life
may we follow him so that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

Parish Notices

 

November 25 is United Nations International Day to promote the Elimination of Violence against Women. In 1999, the UN General Assembly declared 25 November as the International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women. Gender-based violence knows no colour and nationality. It devastates lives and fractures communities, impeding development in every nation. In every country in the world, the well-being, promise and gifts of millions of women and girls are destroyed by violence. The first International Day was marked in 2000 and an important focus of the day is to encourage the role of men in championing non-violence. The symbol of the day is a white ribbon, to be worn by men for the whole day as a statement that they support the campaign to stop men's violence against women.

 

Feminism is

the radical notion

that women

are people’

Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace.

Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General

Further Resources

Love measures our stature: the more we love, the bigger we are. There is no smaller package in all the world than that of a man all wrapped up in himself.

William Sloane Coffin, Jr

Too often people are brought up with a wrong concept of God and their reaction to him is one of fear or apprehension.  This can take many years to break down. The simple thought that God loves me, and the words used to describe human love such as warmth, intensity, strong, unreserved, all have a meaning in describing God’s love.  It is quite literally true that no one can, or will ever, love me more than God does; nor will any experience of mine ever, even in the dimmest way, reflect God’s love for me. There are no limits to God. We are, as we go through life, like lovers in search of the Beloved. That is the only way to try to understand our response to God’s love for us. 

We are lovers in search of the Beloved, simply because he is in search of each one of us and sees each one of as his Beloved.

Cardinal Basil Hume osb The Mystery of Love

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to learn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a little bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Philosophy should always know that indifference is a militant thing. It batters down the walls of cities and murders the women and children amid the flames and the purloining of altar vessels. When it goes away it leaves smoking ruins, where lie citizens bayonetted through the throat. It is not a children's pastime like mere highway robbery. 

Stephen Crane

Educate and inform the whole mass of people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

Thomas Jefferson,

By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy - indifference from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self-satisfaction.

William Osler (Canadian Physician, 1849-1919)

 

It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

Albert Camus

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.’

Albert Einstein

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

The Giving Tree

Once there was a giving tree who loved a little boy.

And everyday the boy would come to play

Swinging from the branches, sleeping in the shade

Laughing all the summer’s hours away.

And so they love,

Oh, the tree was happy.

Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon the boy grew older and one day he came and said,

‘Can you give me some money, tree, to buy something I’ve found?’

‘I have no money,’ said the tree, ‘Just apples, twigs and leaves.’

‘But you can take my apples, boy, and sell them in the town.’

And so he did and

Oh, the tree was happy.

Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon again the boy came back and he said to the tree,

‘I’m now a man and I must have a house that’s all my home.’

‘I can’t give you a house’ he said, ‘The forest is my house.’

‘But you may cut my branches off and build yourself a home’

And so he did.

Oh, the tree was happy.

Oh, the tree was glad.

And time went by and the boy came back with sadness in his eyes.

‘My life has turned so cold,’ he says, ‘and I need sunny days.’

‘I’ve nothing but my trunk,’ he says, ‘But you can cut it down

And build yourself a boat and sail away.’

And so he did and

Oh, the tree was happy.

Oh, the tree was glad.

And after years the boy came back, both of them were old.

‘I really cannot help you if you ask for another gift.’

‘I’m nothing but an old stump now. I’m sorry but I’ve nothing more to give’

‘I do not need very much now, just a quiet place to rest,’

The boy, he whispered, with a weary smile.

‘Well’, said the tree, ‘An old stump is still good for that.’

‘Come, boy’, he said, ‘Sit down, sit down and rest a while.’

And so he did and

Oh, the trees was happy.

Oh, the tree was glad.

Shel Silverstein from Bobby Bare's ‘Singing in the Kitchen’’,

 

If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seed.

If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.

If you are thinking 100 years ahead, make people aware.

By sowing seed once, you will harvest once.

By planting a tree, you will harvest ten-fold.

By opening the minds of people, you will harvest 100-fold.

Chinese proverb

King?

King is your word not mine;

Friend I am, and not very choosey,

pagans and prostitutes,

publicans and sinners,

grace is my kingdom.

 

King is your word, not mine;

Servant I am, no one beneath me,

feet washer and waiter,

serving the least,

love is my kingdom

King is your word, not mine;

Physician I am, all free of charge,

touching the leper,

expelling the demons,

health is my kingdom.

 

King is your word, not mine;

A seer I am, seeing God’s word

in mustard seed and yeast,

wildflower and ravens,

truth is my kingdom.

King is your word, not mine;

Tradesman I am, honing my craft,

familiar with wood,

hammer and nails,

hope is my kingdom.

B.D. Prewer 2002

 

I'd rather be a naive fool than be cynical. I don't mind being called a fool if I'm foolishly believing in a better world. It sounds cheesy, but why else be alive? Honestly. What else is there? It's worth living to be happy, to have a nice house, to have a good marriage, and to raise kids, and I want to do those things. But the bigger question...what's the point of being alive if you're not hopeful that you can do a little something to make the world a little better?

Greg Halpern

The war against Iraq is as disastrous as it is unnecessary; perhaps in terms of its wisdom, purpose and motives, the worst war in American history…. Our military men and women…were not called to defend America but rather to attack Iraq. They were not called to die for, but rather to kill for, their country. What more unpatriotic thing could we have asked of our sons and daughters…?

William Sloane Coffin

 If men use their liberty in such a way as to surrender their liberty, are they thereafter any the less slaves? If people by a plebiscite elect a man despot over them, do they remain free because the despotism was of their own making?Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)  Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Howard Zinn   There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. Howard Zinn,  

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), escaped slave, Abolitionist, author

No attempt or pretence, that was ever carried into practical operation amongst civilized men -- unless possibly the pretence of a ‘Divine Right,’ on the part of some, to govern and enslave others -- embodied so much of shameless absurdity, falsehood, impudence, robbery, usurpation, tyranny, and villainy of every kind, as the attempt or pretence of establishing a government by consent, and getting the actual consent of only so many as may be necessary to keep the rest in subjection by force. Such a government is a mere conspiracy of the strong against the weak. It no more rests on consent than does the worst government on earth.

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887)

In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

 

The earth is not dying. It is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses.

Utah Phillips

War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves’

Leo Tolstoy

Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

The bad thing of war is, that it makes more evil people than it can take away.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher

There are some whose only reason for inciting war is to use it as a means to exercise their tyranny over their subjects more easily. For in times of peace the authority of the assembly, the dignity of the magistrates, the force of the laws stand in the way to some extent of the ruler doing what he likes. But once war is declared then the whole business of state is subject to the will of a few ... They demand as much money as they like. Why say more?’

Erasmus of Rotterdam (1469-1536)

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -how passionately I hate them!

Albert Einstein

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.

Emma Goldman

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

George Bernard Shaw

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Barbara Ehrenreich

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.

Bill Vaughan

The strong do what they can, and the weak do what they must.

Thucydides (c. 460 B.C. - c. 395 B.C.)

…..if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties.. if that is what they mean by a ‘liberal’ then I am proud to be a liberal.John F. Kennedy The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same. Stendhal [Marie-Henri Beyle] (1783-1842)  They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are democratic; that we are a free and self-governing people. That is too much, even for a joke. ... Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder... And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. Eugene Victor Debs The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that The State has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.Arthur Miller,  The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.    George Bernard Shaw

Inside us there is something that has no name,

that something is what we are.

Jose Saramago

The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology.Michael Parenti

What kind of world is this that can send machines to Mars and does nothing to stop the killing of a human being?

Jose Saramago

Some people spend their entire lives reading but never get beyond reading the words on the page, they don't understand that the words are merely stepping stones placed across a fast-flowing river, and the reason they're there is so that we can reach the farther shore, it's the other side that matters.

Jose Saramago

 

Abstention means you stayed at home or went to the beach. By casting a blank vote, you're saying you have a political conscience but you don't agree with any of the existing parties…. As citizens, we all have an obligation to intervene and become involved - it's the citizen who changes things.

Jose Saramago

 

I always ask two questions: How many countries have military bases in the United States? And in how many countries does the United States not have military bases?

Jose Saramago

Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.

Jose Saramago

We're not short of movements proclaiming that a different world is possible, but unless we can coordinate them into an international movement, capitalism just laughs at all these little organisations.

Jose Saramago

Most of you, even with all that you have to suffer, are much better off than you realize.

Yet the heart of man can be full of so much pain, even when things are exteriorly ‘all right’. It becomes all the more difficult because today we are used to thinking that there are explanations for everything.

But there is no explanation for most of what goes on in our own hearts, and we cannot account for it all. No use resorting to mental tranquilizers that even religious explanations sometimes offer.

Faith must be deeper than that, rooted in the unknown and in the abyss of darkness that is the ground of our being. No use teasing the darkness to try to make answers grow out of it.

But if we learn how to have a deep inner patience, things solve themselves, or God solves them if you prefer, but do not expect to see how.

Just learn to wait, and do what you can and help other people.

Thomas Merton. The Road to Joy,

 

Often in helping someone else we find the best way to bear with our own trouble.

Thomas Merton, The Road to Joy, p. 94.

Everybody prays whether [you think] of it as praying or not. The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad. The ah-h-h-h! that sometimes floats up out of you as out of a Fourth of July crowd when the sky-rocket bursts over the water. The stammer of pain at somebody else s pain. The stammer of joy at somebody else’s joy. Whatever words or sounds you use for sighing with over your own life. These are all prayers in their way. These are all spoken not just to yourself but to God.

Frederick Buechner

 

Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.

Frederick Buechner

What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anaemic.  Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reflections on the readings for Feast of Christ, Heart of the Universe

Today’s feast is based on a subversive claim. Though Jesus did not claim to be a king, it is subversive by overturning understandings of power and looks to an inclusive and empowering leadership. It was a subversive act to acknowledge Jesus in apartheid South Africa, the Philippines today, Palestine, and many other countries including Australia above the power of government. It is subversive as a carpenter's son is executed as a political troublemaker by an oppressive regime. It is subversive when he teaches that first will be last and the last first. When Pontius Pilate asks Jesus if he were king of the Jews, Jesus replied, ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ (John 18, 36) meaning that the new reality Jesus speaks of is not the old system of domination. Those who dominate fail to understand the controversial kind of power Jesus refers to. And anyone who wishes to live out the meaning of this subversive power must be prepared for controversy in their lives.

We might recall a few weeks ago, Jesus warned his disciples, ‘You know that those who are recognised as rulers over the gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority felt. But it shall not happen among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man  came to serve and not to be served…’ (Mark 10). Subservience, idolising, building up and putting people down are contrary to the one we ‘celebrate’ today who is truly at the heart of justice, mercy and love. Today’s feast is really about the relationships we develop and through them rediscover how we can live God’s dream for humanity: right relations with all – God, each other, creation (the basis of ‘shalom’); a love that transforms and brings new life as opposed to a hierarchy of privilege and power.

Before Pilate, Jesus’ manifests a leadership that turns the ‘king thing’ upside down. As Pilate’s reign represented arbitrary rule, privilege and domination, Christ’s reign reflects the ‘the earth community’ consisting of love, justice and service. Leadership is meant to be about service, not dominating power. Ignacio Ellacuría, a Jesuit Salvadorian martyr said, ‘We are people of the Gospel, a gospel that proclaims the reign of God, and that calls us to try to transform this earth into as close a likeness of that reign as possible’, the reign of Christ Jesus, not that of “Pilate”. Charles Colson, founder of the Christian Prison Fellowship, says, ‘All the kings and queens I have known in history sent their people out to die for them. I only know one king who decided to die for his people’. Jesus is best known for his scars – scars that revealed his compelling love for the world and his complete self-emptying. And Jesus is still known by his scars. The truth is a person, the Word made flesh, who came to live with us - literally, to ‘pitch his tent’ among people of earth. Today’s feast gathers together all that the reign of God is to express in the gospels.’

Jesus came to change the world, to close any system that enslaves people. What is subversive about this reign is that it is based on a love and justice that leads to peace – not privilege, domination and power that is divisive and exclusive; where the excluded are included and become integral to God’s reign; where the true treasures of the reign of God are always those considered ‘the least’.

As disciples we are empowered and called to act and intervene wherever the power of death pervades in our society, community and life. The disciple is now empowered to ‘get in the way’ where life is reduced to a commodity and people are seen as means rather than ends. This subversive reign of God allows new life to emerge in situations of hopelessness and violence. It comes about by love of others; where mercy is seen as foolishness, where love and compassion is seen as weak and vulnerable, where forgiveness and generosity is seen as softness. These threaten any society based on power, domination and violence.

We can wonder how many people surrendered their consciences in the name of patriotism and national loyalty with the invasion of Iraq, or detention of people in Guantanamo, the treatment of asylum seekers, justifying Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians or blaming people in our country for their social isolation and poverty. Laws and policies governing public life are not critically examined for their humanity and justice. Though God's reign is among us, something is seriously wrong when children are taught to torture and kill as soldiers; when women, girls, boys and men are trafficked around the world with relative impunity; when minorities are persecuted; when 100’s of people can be detained in secret locations and abandoned by their governments; when more and more families are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and homelessness and our leaders tell us we are pretty well off, when we close our hearts and minds and our doors to asylum seekers; when some elderly people feel abandoned or have to decide whether to buy food [or pet food] or medicine; when natural resources are used without regard for future generations; when war is seen as a way to settle to differences. What do these have in common with God’s reign?

Jesus proclaimed and revealed a different way of being in the world. Jesus says, ‘My kingdom [reign] does not belong to this world.’ It is about being different and doing things differently.  Jesus is referring to a rupture between domination and service.  ‘For this I came into the world’ - to inaugurate a world of peace and fellowship, of justice and respect for other people's rights, of love for God and for one another.

Jesus’ words can just as much be directed to ecclesiastical powers as to the political and financial institutions. The Church still seeks exemptions from anti-discrimination laws?  The church seeks to have religious freedom guaranteed without regard for those whose freedoms have been and continue to be ignored when it has sought to protect itself and its image rather than protect vulnerable children; when it seeks exemptions from anti-discrimination laws in employment of gay and lesbian people. One can imagine how much moral and psychological coercion and domination is exercised by authoritarianism, centralism, and dogmatism? How is God’s reign manifested the reign of God manifested; when moral and psychological coercion is exercised in its centralism, authoritarianism and dogmatism; when our leaders are more and more remote from the people who seem to be treated as children in need protection and discipline? Not only our leaders. How many of us have been totally convinced about the kind of power that Jesus exercised. We all stumble when we, and the churches, rely on the power that dominates, bullies, is cruel and violent. Are we convinced in the power that Jesus manifests when we stand in awe or assent or justify expenditures on weapons of war? Are we convinced in the power that Jesus manifests when bay for harsher punishments for people rather than seek their rehabilitation.

We look around we are witnessing a revival of populist rhetoric, fascism, and the undermining of democracies from the USA, Australia, Hungary, Turkey, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries that rely on propaganda, indoctrination, and so-called fake news or ‘alternative facts.’ Today’s feast is a reminder to Christians – political leaders and citizens alike – of what constitutes God’s reign and true Christian leadership.

Jesus’ presence/actions, at the centre of power [Jerusalem] undermine existing social organisations. The excluded are brought in again. In God’s world, broken people are integral. For us, the poor [meant inclusively] are the starting point for understanding the gospel as the good news of liberation. Jesus still stands before the rulers and powerful of this world and holds in his pierced hands, the poor, the starving, the unwanted, the abused and tortured, those shunned by important people. We are his but where do we stand or sit, and who do we sit with?  It comes down to how we live day to day and whether our gaze is directed towards and behalf of the least of these.

christ the king 1