This is a medieval feast which uses the metaphor of “king” -- a powerful one in those days – to describe the role of Jesus. Today the implications of such a metaphor are harder for us to comprehend, though the fascination with the late Princess of Wales suggests that we still like royalty and royal families – though perhaps we don’t quite understand any more the tragedy that is inherent in royal leadership.
In fact, the kingdom which Jesus preached was the kingdom of his Father in heaven, a kingdom of forgiving love with no royal trappings at all, a kingdom which had always been there but which now (through Jesus) we're beginning to recognize for the first time. The kingdom of Jesus is summarized in the words of the Our Father – forgive us as we forgive. No matter how many times we say that prayer, the meaning seems to allude us. We expected to be forgiven, but we don’t want to forgive.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time a young man grew up bitterly angry at the girl down the street. He was bright enough but slow spoken and shy. She was quick-witted and funny. He said and did stupid things, he was tongue tied in class and stumbled on the playground. She made fun of him. He was terrible in sports. She laughed at him. He resented her popularity and her intelligence and her success.
It was not right that she was so good at everything and he was so bad. Then the boys noticed how pretty she was and they all chased after her. The girls sort of like him, but she said he was a nerd and they all agreed.
Then his family moved away. He was glad to leave the neighborhood. He hated everyone in it and especially he hated her. In his new neighborhood he was treated like everyone else. He stopped stumbling, he thought more quickly. He got good marks in class, he became popular. It was all her fault that he had not been popular in the old neighborhood. She had ruined the early part of his life. Some day he’d get even.
Then, when he went to college, he met her again. She was beautiful now and very friendly to him. She didn’t seem to remember how cruel she had been. He thought she’d be a very interesting date – maybe some day even more than that. She kind of thought the same thing.
But he turned his back on her and ignored her.
Thus did he get even.
1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house
of the LORD!"
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