Saturday 24 November 2018




The Pope had lost his lands in Italy called the Papal States and he was also deeply unhappy about the rise of nationalism and secularism.

So having lost his political clout he decided that he would have to up his religious clout.

He did this by instituting the Feast of Christ the King in 1925.

And, of course, if Christ was the Universal King of everything - then as his representative on earth - the pope was the representative of the king of kings.

From then onwards in the RC Church the thinking was that the spiritual kingdom - which the pope headed - was superior to all earthly and worldly kingdoms. 

So the Pope was the Top Man on earth - again!

Of course we believing Christians have no problem with Christ being our "king". 

Jesus himself, in answer to Pilate, said he was a king. But of course he went on to say that his kingdom was not a kingdom of this world. He was referring to God's spiritual kingdom.

One of the more interesting royals of the 20th century was Princess Diana.

She was set to be the Queen of England but she was never to reach that office - partly because she was hated by other royals and partly because she herself had many flaws that included immaturity.

On one famous television programme she said that she desired to be the "Queen of Hearts".

And as her mysterious death proved she was indeed loved and adored by millions of hearts.

In a very real sense for us Christians Christ the King wants to be the King of Hearts - our hearts.

As his life proved he had (unlike the popes) no love of palaces and riches.

He was born in an animal shelter and he died on the site of the Jerusalem dump.

In his lifetime he changed the hearts of everyone he met.

Some hearts were comforted by encountering him - people like the sick, the lepers, the blind and even the dead.

Other hearts were challenged by encountering him - the Pharisees, Herod, Pilate.

An encounter with him left no one unchanged. 

And as a spiritual king Christ was capable of a king's generousity and a king's "wrath".

His generousity included his feeding of the 5,000; the healing of lepers, the blind, the crippled and on a number of occasion by raising the dead back to life. We have the stories of Lazarus, Jairus' daughter and the young man of Nain to show us this. 

His "wrath" became apparent when he took a whip to the money changers in the Temple; when he called Herod a fox and when he told the Pharisees that they were a Brood of Vipers.

And the "wrath" of Jesus did not happen because he was having a bad day or had a hangover from new wine from the Wedding Feast of Cana.

His "wrath" happened because he was justifiably angry at hypocrisy, corruption, injustice especially from those who should have known better or from whom more was expected - and from those who wanted to hurt any of his little ones.

We can only imagine how "wrathful" Christ might feel about the world - and indeed the church - of today.

Kings have subjects.

But Christ the King has brothers, sisters and friends.

In the Gospel of John (15:15) Jesus says:

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you".

The friends of Christ the King of Hearts are called today to have two sides to their lives.

We are called to incardinate within our own hearts and lives the comforting, healing Christ - by ministering to all those we meet in our daily lives who are in any kind of need. 

We are also called to incardinate within our hearts and lives the "wrathful" Christ - by taking firm stands against injustice, corruption and any form of abuse in our world and in our church.

Someone once said of Christ:

"He came to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable".

His FRIENDS are recognisable by how effective they are in comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable. 

May each of us here be given the grace to be such friends to the king of our hearts.


  1. Thank you Pat for your homily. I was trying to piece together a homily for this Feast of Christ the King. Got some ideas from you. Thanks. If we live by His TRUTH we should be true disciples, with difficulty but at least we would be on the right pathway. Hope and pray that the Church will follow the one who is the Truth. Thank you.

    1. Glad to be of assistance.

      The days of pious homilies are gone.

      We need to make Jesus relevant to the burning issues of the day.

      I hope you have a meaningful time with your people today.

  2. A slow news day in the world of gay clerics, Pat?

    1. Not at all.

      Is it not nice to be unpredictable?

      Plus, I am a priest and my Sunday homily is an important part of my week.

    2. 10.09: Whoever you are, stay in your backyard sewer. Obviously the Sunday call to be at least somewhat honourable hasn't touched your ears. You should reflect on Pat's homily - look to your conscience and search for your own flaws, sins, foolishness and wrongdoing. I'm sure Christ the King might like to whisper a few home truths into your ears!

  3. Indeed Jesus was a real person. Some of these skirty types are off d wall so they are. Like many some talk d talk but don't walk dwalk Sad

  4. Thanks for sharing your homily Pat.You should consider doing it every Sunday just to give us a little uplift that we badly need

  5. Well did ye all enjoy the big explosive exposure in the Sunday Life paper? Riveting wasn’t it? What? Whadaya mean? Wot u talkin bout? Weren’t nathin in the paper? Wot nuffink? FFS! And nearly a riot there was in the Mace this morning after 2nd Mass because they sold out of Sunday Life! So there ya go. Nathin. Sweet FA.

    1. Anonymous at 14:53

      You're right what an anti-climax after what we were promised. But thanks be to God and His Holy Mother, we've had enough scandal gossip and conjecture, it's all been very quiet on the blog today.

    2. @14:53 PMSL!

  6. Bill Mulvihill has disappeared from the clergy list on the Armagh diocese website. Not even "c/o Ara Caeli".

    1. Bill "disappeared" himself from that list as he had reach the end of his tolerance for lies, corruption and abuse.

      People who take principled stands often pay a big price.

  7. 15.13: Mulvihill made his own decisions. He's c/o himself! As always, he lives in his own world!! Good riddance.

    1. You are wrong.

      The taking down of Bill's name from the Armagh sight was Bill's doing - not some strange "punishment" etc.

      Bill is in charge of Bill.

    2. MournemanMichael
      An "insightful" comment on the site?

  8. Why was John Gates not featured in Sunday Life?

    1. This blog never claimed Gates would be in Sunday Life.

      A comment maker made the claim.

    2. Bp Pat, it's not the first time you lead us up the garden path.

  9. Not much interest in your homily, Pat. You see they’re all only really interested in the wee gay lads and what they are up to!

    1. Maybe.

      But I am totally committed to Mass and homilies :-)

    2. @21:16

      And why not? Not just the "wee gay lads" but also the great pulpit poofs too!

  10. I liked the homily, Pat.
    Good job. Perhaps you could publish them more often? Better than the same old nonsense I hear every week in my parish.
    I never knew that today’s feast was only instituted in 1925. My little nugget for today. Thanks.

  11. Pat, there isn't much interest in your blog today, though you did offer a good, reflective homily. Sadly, the lack of comments proves one tning: despite the fall off in Church attendees at weekends and the supposed search for something meaningful or spiritual in the lives of people, such people are not at all interested in alternative "religious" societies, i.e. The Oratory or any equivalent. It's not a reflection on you but a reflection on modern, secular Ireland where religious practice is now almost confined to being a totally private matter. Many no longer look to religion or faith for their morality. Sadly, the horrendous abuse scandals and subsequent cover ups have contributed to a disgust with the Catholic Church Institution. But I also believe that as we evolve as human beings, nothing ever stays the same. Change is inevitable. And with change, knowledge and education comes freedom. For you and me, the constant is the vision of life which Christ gives: from that we cherish our values, principles and inspiration. As difficult as it is to live an authentic faith in a way that's relevant, meaningful and nourishing, I still hold on to it. My priestly ministry is dependent on that "faith" because I find that parishioners are not as affirming, supportive or interested as I found them to be in the early 80's! Charting my way through what I perceive as their suspicions and questions about Church and priesthood - and they have reason to be doubtful and questioning - is a challenge that it almost insurmountable. I am grateful for what I have but I would not choose this way of life in today's world. While I disagree with much of how you understand your experiences and interpretstion of events, I admire your persistence and strength in what you do.

    1. "... religious practice is now almost confined to being a totally private matter."

      Constance Murphy-O'Connor described it more succinctly as a "personal eccentricity