Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

11/26/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The kingdom of Christ on earth has always been known as the Church militant, not a Church of cowards. 


By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (

11/26/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Sunday homily, homily, homilies, father james farfaglia, Christ the King, Blessed Miguel Pro, Cristeros, Mexico

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - I have always been inspired by the example of Blessed Miguel Pro of Mexico who as a priest of the Society of Jesus, lived during a very trying time for the Mexican people.  The Catholic Church was terribly persecuted. 

A popular uprising of Catholic laymen called the Cristeros rose to the occasion to free the Church from the anti-clerical laws enforced by President Plutarco Calles.

Blessed Miguel Pro died as a martyr, executed on the firing squad by federal soldiers on November 23, 1927.

As he stood, waiting for the shots that would end his earthly life and begin a new life in the kingdom of heaven, he forgave his executioners, and spreading out his arms in the form of a cross he cried out ňáViva Cristo Rey!¬† Long live Christ the King!

This is the kind of zeal and conviction that the kingdom needs from all of us.¬†¬†¬† No true reforms will take place in the Church; no renewal will take place in our nation until Jesus Christ reigns in everyone's heart.¬† ňáViva Cristo Rey!¬† Long live Christ the King!

The Kingdom of God is the central teaching of Jesus throughout the Gospels.  The word kingdom appears more than any other word throughout the four Gospels.  Jesus begins his public ministry by preaching the kingdom.  "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:14).

By summarizing all of the teachings of the New Testament on the kingdom we can clearly see that the kingdom is a three dimensional reality:  the life of grace within every individual who does the will of God, the Church here on earth, and eternal life in heaven.

The kingdom first establishes itself in our hearts through the sacrament of Baptism, thus allowing us to participate in God's inner life.  We are elevated and transformed through sanctifying grace.  This supernatural life of grace comes to fulfillment in the eternal life of heaven.

Referring to the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that the Church is the kingdom of Christ already present in mystery.

It is the mission of the Church to proclaim and establish the kingdom of Christ. This mission takes place between the first coming and the second coming of Christ.  The Church will become perfected in the glory of heaven once the Second Coming takes place.

Meanwhile, the Church journeys here on earth through persecutions and consolations.  She is in exile from the Lord and waits with joyful hope for the full coming of the kingdom.
Jesus makes it very clear that there are two kingdoms. The two kingdoms are constantly in battle with each other.

Jesus is the king of one kingdom, and Satan is the king of the other kingdom. The battle takes place in our hearts, and it displays itself with great drama in the world.
To ensure that Jesus is always the king of our hearts requires great commitment, sacrifice, conviction, hard work and a lot of prayer.

We must never be surprised that the spiritual life is a battle.  A battle between the two kingdoms will always take place in our heart until the day the Lord calls us to the kingdom of heaven.
If you struggle, you will conquer.  If you conquer, you will be given the crown of victory.

To maintain the state of sanctifying grace in our souls and to cultivate our spiritual life so that grace increases are the essential elements to the Christian way of life.  However, this is not an easy enterprise. 

Due to the effects of Original Sin, there are four areas that cause the greatest personal struggle.  If we focus our attention to these obstacles to sanctifying grace, we live with immense interior freedom and intimacy with God.  The four areas that I am referring to are lust, gluttony, avarice and sloth. 

Since we live in a society consumed in sexual sins, we must be vigilant and never give in to the corruption of our times.  Prayer, the sacraments and filial devotion to Mary are indispensable tools to preserve the life of grace.  Let us remember to avoid the near occasions of sin. 

In Fatima, Our Blessed Mother warned humanity that sexual sins cause more people to go to hell than any other offenses.

Gluttony is another battle for most Americans.  We allow ourselves to be controlled by food. 

Gluttony is defined as an inordinate love for the pleasures of food.  This common vice makes our soul the slave of our body and causes us to act like an animal.  We can acquire the virtue of temperance by eating proper foods and controlling the amounts of food that we consume.  It is disgraceful the amount of food that people pile onto their plates.

Avarice is another common problem for many Americans.  The inordinate love for money and material possessions is a real problem in today's society. 

This vice can be uprooted from our souls by living within our means, keeping within a strict yearly budget, avoiding unnecessary credit card debt, and by practicing the Biblical principle of tithing.  The sin of avarice is rooted in a deep mistrust in God who provides all that we need for our daily existence. 

Along with the traditional means that I mentioned that are necessary for the preservation of the virtue of chastity, uprooting the sins of gluttony and avarice are very useful in the cultivation of purity.

If we can control our eating and spending habits, we can then have a greater ability to control our sexual desires.

Sloth is another terrible vice that controls many people.  Sloth proceeds from an inordinate attachment to sensual pleasure and it causes us to avoid suffering and effort.

In the spiritual life, sloth presents the greatest obstacle to spiritual progress. 

If we do not exert ourselves with a strong will and firm character, we are putting our own eternal salvation in jeopardy.  There is no room for laziness and complacency in the kingdom of Christ! 

My dear friends, the spiritual life will always be a continual battle, but if we really love Jesus and his kingdom, we will always be able to proclaim the inspirational words spoken by Saint Paul, one of the greatest members of the kingdom: "I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4: 8).

History is filled with the details of many famous battles.  One of these confrontations took place at the Alamo.  On March 5, 1836, Colonel William Travis assembled his men in the plaza of the Alamo and told them that there was no hope that they would receive any help. 

He drew a line on the ground with a sword to be crossed by all who were committed to stay and fight.  Everyone crossed the line except for one man by the name of Moses Rose, who escaped over one of the walls surrounding the Alamo. 

Today, more than ever, the kingdom of Christ needs convinced Catholics who will fight heroically for their King. 

The kingdom of Christ on earth has always been known as the Church militant, not a Church of cowards. 

The conflict between good and evil reached its culmination during the passion of Christ the King.  Betrayal, disloyalty, fear and hatred came to overshadow the fidelity of a few disciples and the Lord's loving Mother.

The Cross is an essential component for membership in the kingdom of Christ.  Those who belong to the kingdom of Satan do not want a king who tells them that they have to suffer.

They want Jesus to come down from the Cross.

Father James Farfaglia is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics.  You can visit him on the web at and listen to the audio podcast of this Sunday homily.  


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.


More Year of Faith

Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - I didn't steal any cookies mommy! says a little boy whose mother asked him if he was hungry, wiping the ... continue reading

Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man's self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches ... continue reading

The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old ... continue reading

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading

Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading

Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading

The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading

Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading

Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading

The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading

All Year of Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families
  • St. Maximinus of Trier: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, May 29, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:41-43
41 'Even the foreigner, not belonging to your people Israel but coming ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:1-10
1 When he had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he ... Read More

Reading 2, Galatians 1:1-2, 6-10
1 From Paul, an apostle appointed not by human beings nor through any ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 29th, 2016 Image

St. Maximinus of Trier
May 29: Bishop of Trier, Germany, from 332, and a miracle ... Read More