Christ the King: A Feast for Mothers

    Today is the feast of Christ the King.  I know of few feast days more suited to Catholic mothers.  The Gospel reading today concerns Pilate questioning Jesus: “Are you the king of the Jews?”  Jesus responds later in their discourse: “My kingdom does not belong to this world”  (John 18:33 ff.).
     Christ is the King.  But not of this world.  Catholic mothers, too, are royalty, but in the sense of Christ’s royalty.  By virtue of our baptism, we share in the royalty of Christ.  He is the King, and as His daughters, we share in his kingship, that is, receiving our queenship.
    Yet just as Christ’s kingdom was not of this world, neither is ours.  Christ chose against earthly power.  In motherhood, we forgo earthly power.  Christ chose against political, social and economic power.  So too, insofar as we participate in our office as mothers, to that extent we are forgoing our public offices in the political, social and economic spheres.  There is so much we could do, so many gifts we have to bring to the world.  Yet sometimes we set the development of those gifts aside to be mothers, at least for the time being.
     Sometimes those are true losses.  Sometimes we really suffer for having set aside that development.  I was speaking with one friend today who shared how deeply she suffers for having set aside so much of her personal development over the past 20 years as she has raised her eight children.
     Yet motherhood is a sharing in Christ’s kingship.  We are not developing our talents for this world as we might otherwise, if we were not mothers.  But we are doing something incredibly powerful.  When we are joined with Christ, we intercede with him–that is mighty powerful indeed.  When we are unified with Christ, we are shining the light of God in a dark world–what could be more important?  When we love Christ, we manifest divine love in our homes, in our communities, in our parishes, in our schools, in our relationships.  We transform the world with God’s love.  There is no political, social or economic need greater than the need the people of the earth have for God’s love.  The best policies, laws and morays are worthless without the love of God.
     We may not receive earthly titles or honors.  We may not receive praise.  We may never be acknowledged by other people for the important work we are doing.  But insofar as we are one with Christ, who is the King, we share in his royal office.  Even when we ache, as my friend does, for how little we have developed our own talents, and even if we would do it differently to some extent if we could, God can use what we have given Him.  He can use our offering in mighty ways.  We will not know until heaven how He has used our sacrifices.  But just as the death on a cross of one seemingly insignificant man had a radical, infinite power, so too can our small, seemingly insignificant deaths to self have a lasting and eternal weight.