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The sand flee is smaller than a fruit fly, but they have very sharp teeth. I was fly-fishing one summer evening, and the sand flees came out to torment me. They had no mercy and were all over me. I only had two options: (1) leave and miss out on the best fishing of the day, miss out on an exciting evening, miss out on a beautiful sunset, or (2) stay and die. I remembered what my father used to tell my mother when he was fishing: “Just one more.” I decided to catch just one more fish. As I was about to leave, a fantastic event happened. Out of nowhere, I felt this gentle breeze on my face. To a five foot eleven inch guy a breath of air is nothing, but to a sand flea, it is a hurricane. The sand flees were blown away. To think, I was powerless against these insects. There was nothing I could do against them. Yet, a gentle breeze did something that I was not able to do. If I can be powerless against a sand flea, I can also be helpless against much more aggressive opponents in life. Sometimes we need help outside of ourselves. That is why Christ the King is such an important belief for us Christians. It gives us power beyond ourselves.
One day Isaiah the prophet had a vision when he was in the temple. He saw God seated on a giant throne. He reported that the temple was filled with the hem of God’s garment. The hem of the garment is the stitching around the divine toe. It was Isaiah’s way describing the size of God. If His toes fill the temple, He must be pretty big. That would make the throne twenty-five to fifty stories high. If you or I saw God sitting on a fifty-foot throne, it would be safe to say that we would be a little intimidated, perhaps even afraid. It is, however, a healthy fear. When we fear God, because He is so big or powerful, it means that we will not fear anything else in life.
One time I was driving down a highway and it began to snow heavy. It came down so fast that could no longer see the road, a complete whiteout. I couldn’t stop in the middle of the highway in case someone was driving behind me. Neither could I pull off to the side of the road because to my eyes there was no road. I slowed to a crawl, and I pictured God sitting with me, with this one detail: He was sitting on a fifty-foot throne. When God is massive like that, fear goes away. We sometimes forget that God is big. Bigger than any problem we will ever have.
There is a great line in the shepherd psalms: “He sets the table before me in the sight of my foes.” Imagine the implications of those words. Picture yourself sitting at a picnic table with a nice juicy T-bone steak. Lo and behold a lion and a bear come out of the woods and start walking over to your table. Apparently, they smell the aroma of the steak. What are you going to do? Are you going to leave the steak for the bear and the lion and run? No, you are going to cut a piece of the steak, put it on your folk, hold up the fork with the steak attached to it so the bear and lion can see it, and you are going to eat the piece of steak, which you will enjoy very much. You may want even to tell the bear and lion how good your steak tastes. “Oh, is this is delicious. Ummm.” Are you crazy for doing that? Shouldn’t you be afraid? Of course not. You have the good shepherd at your side. If the lion and the bear get any ideas, they will get a bop on the head with the shepherd’s staff.
There are a lot of things that frighten us in life. Sometimes we forget how big God is. This is the feast of Christ the King. As king, He sits on the throne. If we keep that in mind, all the fear we have in life will go away.Back to All Homilies