New beginnings offer a particular space for gratitude, for wonder. Depending on your place on the runway, there can be a wealth of memories, decades crowded with remembrances or something far more simple, wrapped in days and weeks. But on this Feast of Christ the King, there is also an invitation to truly see the space we occupy, the significance of our role in relation to one another and the world as a whole. There is a richness in that, in the promise of it and the simplicity. It is about attentiveness to the moment, mindfulness of our place in this vast world and the stream of generations of humanity.
At new beginnings, the distractions can be quieted, muted, and there is a chance to concentrate on something very present and very real. There is a chance to see things as they are: no one of us is the center of the universe. No one of us is greater than the others. And yet, each one of us has this remarkable capacity to do good, to offer kindness, mercy and compassion to each other. There is the chance to hear things as they are: the brokenness and the becoming side by side, the realization that somehow, we abide in one another’s lives and possess the capacity to truly hear beyond words. There is the chance to risk a full response rather than a knee jerk reaction.
To take that risk, to see and to hear, offers the chance to rephrase purpose and to trust in something greater; that is an invitation from the King, to become a better person, to build a better kingdom.
Reward is not the goal. This is a kingdom which is not about the compensation or achievement. This is about attitude, intention, fidelity to the greater good. It is about remembering “whatever you do for the least of my brethren, that you do for me”, the benevolent monarch. That is the Voice that whispers of goodness in the ear of the erstwhile. It is the Voice that reminds frenzied humans that there is something beyond the hours marked and tasks completed. It is the Voice that has spoken through millenniums that there is a kingdom that transcends the senses, defies the visible and complements the scientific and rational.
Catholicism is a vehicle that confides that whisper of goodness, that sense that there is a dimension where none of us are alone, where all of us are safe, where there is the flame of truth and the search for better in ourselves and our world. This kingdom is more than who we are and yet something being built through every word and action, every choice. It is not about judging the choices of others, but making choices of our own and discovering the beauty of a world where living in deep consistency of purpose, attitudes and interactions….that is what it means to be Catholic.