Monday, November 26, 2012

Royal Blood

I have royal blood in me; let me explain. 

At the beginning of this year, I was considering making “new years resolutions,” like many people do. However, I know myself, and any attempt to alter my behavior, change my routine, or add to my already considerable list of failures just seemed like a big waste of time. So, I thought about what else I could do “new” this year. I decided that I wanted to learn something new. When I posed the question of what I should try to my friends, they had their suggestions; but the most compelling to me was to learn genealogy.

So, I did what anyone would do with such a task – I went to the Internet; and there, I found, signed up for an account, and my journey into the history of Austin Murphy was in gear.

I have to admit: it was quite addicting – searching through census records, military lists and online community family trees. I found ancestor after ancestor, and learned that many of my mom’s mom’s family have been in Maryland since its founding in the 1630s.

But the journey continued to reveal more and more people as we traveled back in time. Because of their ability to travel to the new Maryland colony, many of those ancestors had connections to wealthy, landed families – lords, earls, dukes, and the like. From those noble forebears, I was lead to even higher stations in life. To spare you the “who-begat-whom” sort of story that we will soon hear in the Scriptures, let me give you some hits:

I am related to Edward I, II, III and IV; Henry II and III; and John, Kings of England. But that is not why I have royal blood.

I am related to Eleanor of Aquitaine and William the Conqueror of France. I am related to King Malcolm III of Scotland, and his wife, Saint Margaret. But that is not why I have royal blood.

I am related to Ferdinand III, and Alfonso VII, VIII, and IX, Kings of Castile and Leon in Spain.

While I was very impressed and interested to see these names pop up on my family tree – and I am still not certain that they are all accurate (especially the farther back I go) – I am still Austin Murphy, son of Austin and Catherine, of Catonsville, Maryland – no more, no less.

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, and our readings do some “royalty watching” of their own. In the First Reading, Daniel sees the Son of Man enthroned with all power and kingship given to him – an impressive sight. The author of Revelation in the Second Reading see a similar vision, with Jesus coming will all authority and kingship; and finally, we see Jesus at “his hour,” before Pilate, claiming a different kind of kingship.

Pilate is approaching the King in the way that the world would - the way that would – looking for signs of power and worldly authority - "connections."  However, this is not the kingship that Jesus claims. “My kingdom is not here.”

Remember, the Kingdom of God is not a matter of geography, language or race. Rather, it is an attitude of those who claim Christ as King. We are the Kingdom because we are reigned over by the King. If Jesus is King of your life, then you are part of that Kingdom. And to those you claim Christ as King He gives the honor of royal priesthood and the inheritance marked off for Himself from the beginning of time.

We share in His blood each time we come to this Eucharist. As a Christian, who has fed on the Body and Blood of Christ, I have His life in me – His Blood. And that is why I say I have royal blood!

Brothers and sisters, nothing else matters – no political affiliation, no ideology, no human manifesto – only the Kingship of Jesus in our lives.

Today, we recognize Jesus as King of the Universe – and King of our hearts. This Royal One – who spurned all forms of royal honor here on earth – is the only source of true dignity for us who claim Him as ruler of our lives. When we come forward again, to receive His royal Body and Blood, make we go forth from here, confident in our own royal dignity – and recognize it in one another.

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