Father Bryan Pedersen

This final Sunday after Pentecost, and last Sunday before the start of Advent and the new liturgical year we celebrate The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The sacred scriptures attest that Jesus is Lord, that Christ is King, in several places.

St. Luke: “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.” Lk 2:11

St. Paul: “Because of this, God greatly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:9-11

St. John: “They will fight with the Lamb, (N.B. here ‘They’ refer to followers of the ‘Beast,’ aka Satan), but the Lamb (N.B. the ‘Lamb’ is Jesus), will conquer them, for He is Lord of lords and king of kings, and those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”  Rv. 17:14

And my favorite in St. Peter’s letter: “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” 1 Pt. 3:15

To truly be King of the Universe Jesus must be lord of every part of our heart.  This is precisely the challenge each one of us faces, since at times our human will chooses to rebel against our reason, and desires to be Lord alone. It is one of the false idols of our day, the equating of freedom with autonomy – “freedom from,” rather than “freedom for.” Catholic theology calls it Original Sin. Baptism brings the soul forgiveness of sin, but does not remove all its effects.

The psalmist points out the way writing: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; understanding marks all who attain it. His praise endures forever!” Ps. 111:10. Living filial “Fear of the LORD,” making Jesus Lord, and King of our whole heart, I find to be a process, and the work of a lifetime, but this sanctification is how saints are made. When Robert Frost wrote: “And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep,” perhaps he was referring to this work.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.