Feast Of Christ The King 2022
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: November 20, 2022
Leadership matters. The kind of leadership we have in politics and nations, in business, in the church, in families, it really matters.
Why does the church have a Feast called Christ the King? In 1925, Pope Pius XI established this Feast for the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. It was in response to the increase of secularism and atheistic ideologies that wanted to establish a society with no reference to God. Today it can be an important reference to us about the type of leadership we need in the world.
The fact is that leadership matters. The type of leaders we have matters. Jesus presents us with a model of leadership that is needed in our world. It is not based on violence, control or power over others. It is not authority that benefits the leader alone. We see the leadership of Jesus on the cross. Surrendering his life for the sake of others. Refusing to compromise for his own benefit. A humble servant leadership that brings life to others.
Even as he is dying on the cross we see him turn to the criminal on the one side and promise him eternal life, “today you will be with me in paradise.” It is this model of leadership seen in Jesus that is needed by all leaders today.
This includes leaders of governments and nations. Leaders in business. Leaders in the church. Leaders in families.
Poor leadership of nations and governments leads us to violence and war. Seen so clearly in the Ukraine at this time. Poor leadership in nations and governments leads to the failure to respond to important issues humanity faces, such as climate change and poverty. Good leaders of nations and governments remove corruption, it is focused on the common good. Ready to lay down their life for others like Jesus on the cross.
Poor leadership in businesses leads to the exploitation of workers and of the environment. Good leaders in business leads to good employment and working conditions. They are not focused on profits alone, but also the well-being of workers and creation.
Poor leadership in the church leads to corruption, unaddressed abuse and disunity. Good leadership in the church is rooted in the self-giving love of Jesus seen on the cross. The church needs bishops and priests who are humble servant leaders.
Today the vision of the church sees once again that every member of the church has a priestly call rooted in their baptism. Not only bishops and priests are called to leadership in the church, every member of the church is called to take on responsibility for the mission of the church. As someone who is baptized, you all have a responsibility for the church. We need to journey together as the church in the world.
Poor leadership in families causes lots of brokenness and hurt. Spouses are called to lead like Jesus, self-giving love reflected on the cross. To offer their life for each other. Parents are called to self-giving love, giving of themselves for their children like Jesus on the cross. In the hurts and divisions within families we are all called to leadership that brings healing and forgiveness. Even in the crosses within our family lives, we need to be like Jesus bringing life to one another.
As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, we are to look to the model of humble servant leadership seen in Jesus giving his life on the cross. Imagine the difference if leaders of nations and governments, leaders in business, leaders in the church and leaders in our families followed the model of Jesus. Leadership matters, look for leadership that is modelled after Jesus. Become leaders that embrace the humble servant way of Jesus.