This week in which the church celebrates Christ the King speaks to me as a mother. With the aroma of pumpkin spice beginning to fade, but before fresh-cut evergreens are hauled into our homes, we can almost miss this monumental feast. Yes, Advent will soon be here brimming with activities of watching, waiting and preparing for the coming of the newborn King, but this solemnity reminds us that the kingdom of heaven is not somewhere down the road. Christ the King has come, has conquered, and has called us into his kingdom today.
Christianity is not a way to get to heaven; Christianity is a means of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. Don’t we pray continually, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? The prayer that Jesus taught us is not just words uttered from our hearts to our merciful Abba. It is a commitment to be his children, to bring his kingdom and to forgive our trespassers. We cannot simply profess our allegiance with our lips, our loyalty must be evident in our lives. In his kingdom, we are not simply servants or vassals of the almighty Lord, we are partakers of the king’s own life. So, as heirs and cherished daughters of the King of Kings, let us “live in a manner worthy of the call” (Eph. 4:1).
As mothers, how can we actively build his kingdom? Every day is overflowing with opportunities to give ourselves to him. Do I say “yes” to his rule in my life, or do I try to write the script myself? Do I accept his kingship over my free time, my finances, my marriage, my home, my talents, my health, my sanctification, and my expectations and hopes for the future? Do I stop what I’m doing over and over again to discipline my little ones consistently? When my to-do-list is already overwhelming, do I ask my husband what I can do for him and then make it my first priority? When my teenager acts ungrateful or makes poor choices, do I offer unconditional love? Do I see the needs of my neighbors and open my heart and hands to them? Do I delight in the Lord when there are loads of laundry that need to be sorted, washed, and folded, a boo-boo that needs a kiss, a math lesson that needs to be checked, a hungry, growing family that needs a home-made meal, a sink full of dishes that need to be washed, a work-day that needs my attention, and a marriage that needs to be a reflection of the love between Christ and the Church? Every minute of the day I can find God present, and I can choose to serve him in the present.
I recently read about a Catholic mom who, after a particularly exhausting and self-giving day, just wanted a little time to herself. When she found out that her husband would be home late, she reluctantly shouldered all the bed-time duties herself. As she was tucking one of her little ones in bed, the child whispered, “Mommy, you smell like heaven.” That is the mighty call of motherhood! As moms, we can bring the fragrance of God’s heavenly kingdom to our home, to the marketplace and to a world in need through, with, and in Christ the King.