Saturday, December 22, 2012

O Rex Gentium

O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save man whom you fashioned out of clay.

The verses of Scripture that combined make-up today's antiphon are Isaiah 28:16 and Ephesians 2:14.

Just how do we acknowledge Christ as our King? By making ourselves subject to Him.

Three days ago, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote a brief editorial for London's Financial Times. In his article, "A time for Christians to engage with the world," the Pontiff lays out what this means:
Christmas can be the time in which we learn to read the Gospel, to get to know Jesus not only as the Child in the manger, but as the one in whom we recognize God made Man.

It is in the Gospel that Christians find inspiration for their daily lives and their involvement in worldly affairs – be it in the Houses of Parliament or the Stock Exchange. Christians shouldn’t shun the world; they should engage with it. But their involvement in politics and economics should transcend every form of ideology.

Christians fight poverty out of a recognition of the supreme dignity of every human being, created in God’s image and destined for eternal life. Christians work for more equitable sharing of the earth’s resources out of a belief that, as stewards of God’s creation, we have a duty to care for the weakest and most vulnerable. Christians oppose greed and exploitation out of a conviction that generosity and selfless love, as taught and lived by Jesus of Nazareth, are the way that leads to fullness of life. Christian belief in the transcendent destiny of every human being gives urgency to the task of promoting peace and justice for all

It is likely no accident, especially given the Year of Faith we are observing due the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, that what the Pope writes is an echo from the Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, which noted, "What specifically characterizes the laity is their secular nature" (par. 31). This is developed later in the constitution: "the laity are called in a special way to make the Church present and operative in those places and circumstances where only through them can it become the salt of the earth. Thus every layman, in virtue of the very gifts bestowed upon him, is at the same time a witness and a living instrument of the mission of the Church itself 'according to the measure of Christ's bestowal'" (par. 33).

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