On a glorious autumn afternoon, I loaded up our pockmarked pickup truck with bikes, our two youngest sons (ages 10 and 8), and my friend, Becky. We excitedly headed out to the nature center by taking the main drag—and at the very first stoplight, the truck died. Two women in the car next to us looked on us with pity. Thankfully, the ignition switch turned and the engine started. Sure enough, at the very next light, the truck died again. This time I struggled, turning the switch several times—to no avail. While I sweated, some drivers whizzed by shooting us a look of disdain while others laid on the horn. In that tense moment, Becky turned to the boys in the backseat, “Boys, it doesn’t matter what you drive, what you wear, or what you do because you are the King’s kids. You belong to Jesus. Don’t ever, ever, forget who you are—the King’s kids!”
Our society assaults our children, attempting to dissuade them from believing blue blood runs through their veins. Our fallen world assails them with messages of unworthiness to strip their dignity. Truthfully, who could possibly claim a royal heritage when the mirror reflects smudged faces, torn robes, and bloodied, broken bodies—our humanness? Yet it is not us, but Jesus—the Alpha and Omega—who grants us nobility.
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Be assured this eternal King shatters worldly expectations: though deserving absolute adoration, Jesus kneels and washes feet; though being owed everything, Jesus pays our debt; though ruler of the entire universe, Jesus loves each of us gently, tenderly, deeply, unconditionally, and infinitely.
On this feast day, each of us—young or old—is reminded of our eternal worth and our kingly summons to humility and service. Jesus invites us, his beloved children, to the royal banquet of the Eucharist, where we bow low to adore and receive the King of the Universe. His Gospel charges us with our regal responsibility to lift high the last, the least, and the littlest.
As parents or grandparents, we name grace and testify to truth when we remind our children of their innate worth and royal identity as God’s beloved children—the King’s kids. We name grace as we witness to this heritage by working for the kingdom of God and treating others with mercy, respect, compassion and love.
Christ the King, whose dominion is everlasting, conquers our hearts through love. If we surrender to this love—claim and live it—our identity as the King’s kids remains our joy for eternity. My prayer is that our children, now adult, will always follow our benevolent King. May they never, ever, forget their true worth as the King’s kids—even if riding in the back of an old pickup truck. Now, that’s good news!
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.