At this writing, I am in Corpus Christi for one of my favorite feasts of the Church year, Christ the King, and also for my birthday weekend, since I was born here.
It was growing dark, raining and then storming when I got into town. The bay was black, the water choppy; growing more restless as thunder rumbled overhead. Eventually lightening lit up glassy green patches of the surface of the deep.
I waited for that feeling I always get; that my soul is greeting the ocean, and that the ocean returns the greeting. I got it, and smiled.
Later, the waning super moon, still big, beautiful, and unusually bright, rose above the dark waters, illuminating a path across the calming waves. A few stars began to wink in the clear sky.
It seems right to be here, in this city named for the Eucharist, for the Feast of Christ the King, at the close of the Year of Mercy, and the close of this year of my life.
I stand across the street from the hospital where I was born, at the edge of the bay, watching a storm come and go. It makes sense.
As I reflect on this year, that has been the Year of Mercy, it seems that the world needs mercy now more than ever. I hate to see the Holy Doors be closed. Pope Francis warns of “an epidemic of animosity.” I think we are having it. It worries me. So does the reactivity to it that seems to only create more of the same. I have been sick at heart.
We need healing.
I am not sure what I or anyone else should do.
But God knows exactly what is needed.
I trust He will be showing all people of good will what we each need to do, if we listen.
I will try to be a person of good will, myself, as best I can to start with, and to listen for God.
As the Church celebrates His Kingship, I want to re-commit myself to His Majesty, to Divine Love, in this coming year of my life, and this new Church year that is beginning.
I will be sure to renew my consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, as I always do on my birthday, which is on the memorial of her Presentation in the Temple as a child. I can ask her present me, as I am right now. May I be willing to be the kind of child God wants me to be to Him.
Every day, I want to ask for the gift of love.
I am worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. If I tend to prayer and open-ness to God, the rest will fall into place. I will be lead where He wants me to go, inspired with the directions to take. I will have all I need to carry out His will for me in any given situation. That’s my part.
On the last day of the Year of Mercy, I went to Confession one last time before the Church year ends, at Corpus Christi Cathedral. When I opened the door of the confessional, the priest looked at me, and smiled. He said, “Hi, Mija.” His tranquil kindness made it easy to pour out all of my own heartlessness to Jesus, and to be grateful for this healing sacrament, and for my Holy Mother, the Church.
Before I left, the priest asked where I was from. I said I was born here, but was visiting from Bryan-College Station, for my birthday. He said, “Well, welcome home, then,” with a beautiful smile.
Then, I prayed with relief and contentment in the main church before the Blessed Sacrament; the living, beating Merciful Heart of Jesus for us, Corpus Christi (Body of Christ.)
May this new year be a time of rebirth, a year of new beginnings when we are shown that God makes all things work together for good.
In the evening I enjoyed praying the Liturgy of the Hours on the shore, the late rose golden sunlight warming my shoulders, the sea wind in my hair, and a clear heart. Mesmerized and calmed by the immensity of the waters, and the persistent rising of the tide, I reflected on the merciful abyss of the Heart of God. How gentle and unstoppable is the tide of Divine Love.
Jesus as Eucharist, is a humble and gentle King who makes Himself little and vulnerable to us in the Host. In his humility, He comes to us in love, giving of Himself completely, for our sakes.
This feast of Christ the King, is not really just a closing of the Year of Mercy, it is its crown!
The Church will close the Holy Doors of this extraordinary jubilee year, but the tide of mercy continues, and the King of Mercy, is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
The King of Love, our Shepherd is. And this world belongs to Him.
Let us continue to be made into His image; the image of humility and the deep, persistent love that never ends, now matter what storms come and go.
Let us be immersed in the tide of His mercy, that will relentlessly flow to us, and through us, always and forever, from His Merciful, Eucharistic Heart.
Praised be Jesus, King of Mercy
both now and forever.