11/21/09

Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King



Image: Genesis

Quality means...

(Scriptures for today's liturgy)

A friend who’s a craftsman has a website
and at the top of web page is a quote from Henry Ford:
"Quality means doing things right when no one is looking."

I think all of us hope that work we pay to have done
will be quality work,
that whatever that piece of work might be,
that deep inside it, and behind it, and underneath it,
in places we can see and places we can’t see,
that those who did the work “did things right”
even when “no one was looking.”

Those who do true quality work need to pledge to themselves
that they won’t take short-cuts;
that they’ll always use good building materials, even the best;
that they’ll take as much care with what’s unseen in their product
as they do with what is seen;
they they’ll be honest and fair
in setting a price to be paid for their work;
that the product they craft will be the product they advertised.

I think of this as I think of this feast of Christ the King.
It’s very easy for us here, together,
to acclaim Christ as King of our hearts, in prayer and song --
but what about the times we’re alone,
the times when “no one is looking?”

What’s the quality of our “doing things right,”
of our allegiance to Christ the King - “when no one is looking?”

• What kind of short-cuts do we take
when we’re pretty sure we won’t get caught?

• Are there times when we substitute the fake and the sham
for the real and the true
when we don’t want to take on responsibility for the truth,
when lying seems an easy way out?

• Is there a difference between the care we take
in living out our faith in front of others,
and living out our faith behind the scenes?

• Are we sometimes less than just and fair with others
when we think we can get away with it?
when being “just a little dishonest” will benefit ourselves?

• Are there ways in which we “advertise” ourselves
as a better product than we really are?

• What kind of spin do we put on our own reputations
when our rough and unfinished sides begin to show?

What we’re talking about here is the “quality” of Christian life
that each of us claims, or tries to claim or wants to claim --
and whether or not that quality is built on “doing things rights”
even when no one is looking.

Of course Christ, the King,
sees everything everyone of his subjects does
– or fails to do.

Christ, the King,
sees what we do when no one else is looking.

Christ, the King,
knows if what we craft of our lives is genuine
or a cheap imitation with a shiny veneer.

Christ, the King,
sees everything:
what’s true, what’s false; what’s real, what’s fake;
what’s fair and what’s unjust in everything we do.

And when he sees that our working at living our faith
is of a lesser quality than we’re able to give,
he calls us again and again to make the interior of our lives
as beautiful as we carefully make the outside.

In the scriptures this day, Christ is the “faithful witness,”
testifying to the truth at just the time when shaving the truth
would have spared him not only suffering but death.

The quality of his fidelity is the source of our peace.
And we pray beneath the sign of the Cross,
the sign of the consequence of his being faithful to the truth.

At this table he nourishes us with the truth of his love
in the very life he gave on the Cross
now given in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Christ is our King and his truth is our peace.
The quality of our Christian lives
depends on our doing things right in his eyes -
even when no one else is looking.

-ConcordPastor

5 comments:

Daily Grace said...

The quality of his fidelity is the source of our peace...and at his table he nourishes us with his very life through the Eucharist.

These are beautiful thoughts for reflection.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This touches the actuality and profundity of living. Christ rules our lives and He is always a forgiving King.

St Edwards Blog said...

This is really beautiful and very thought provoking.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words. If only people lived them.

ConcordPastor said...

None of us lives these realities perfectly, all of us live them imperfectly. Part of Christian living is to be understanding and forgiving of one another when we fail and supportive when, from our failures, we try again to respond to the Lord's help and grace.