Sunday, November 21, 2004

An unlikely homily image
Ah, the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! Today I preached that if we are authentic disciples of Christ, that is, authentic subjects of the King, then his reign must extend into all aspects of our lives. He is King of my public and my private life. He is King of my moral choices. He is King of my free time and what I do with it. He is King of what I do for entertainment. He is King of relationships (between parents, children, siblings, boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife). He is King of my work and my work place. He is King of my skills and talents. He is King of my thoughts, words, and actions. We cannot have a divided kingdom; we cannot swear allegiance to several kings.

To demonstrate how all-encompassing is Christ's reign I used the image of an athlete. An athlete, if he is truly dedicated to his sport, knows that he is always in training. He is not just an athlete when he is on the field or just when he is playing the game, but also off the field. The fact that he is an athlete informs how he trains, how he exercises, the choices he makes about how to spend his free time, how much sleep to get, and even what to eat. I suggested that we, too, running the race of faith, must understand that the fact we are subjects of Christ the King must inform every aspect of our lives, not just in the church, but outside as well, "off the field" as it were.

And then I raised an unlikely homily image. I recalled as a young boy watching Saturday Night Live (this was probably the very late 1970's). There was a parody of a Wheaties commercial. A very unathletic-looking John Belushi was shown as an athlete in training and winning his competition (running through the finish line tape, arms raised in victory). "What is your secret?" a reporter asked this victorious athlete. Belushi's breakfast of champions? Little chocolate doughnuts! Do you remember that parody? It was hysterical, even for a young boy at the time.

Little chocolate doughnuts are no more the breakfast of champions, than a compartmentalized, divided faith, lived only in the church walls, is the faith of champions destined for salvation!

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