Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

For us in the South, the phrase “winter is coming” may not mean much weather-wise, even if we get the occasional or random snowfall once in a blue moon. But for fans of HBO’s series “Game of Thrones,” that phrase is well known as the words of the Stark family.
With its final season approaching in 2019, “Game of Thrones” has been a cultural phenomenon with millions religiously tuning in to the series based on George R.R. Martin’s books.
Putting the dragons and other fantasy elements aside, there is an interesting dynamic that I hope to illustrate.
The Starks and the other families all seek power and control of the Iron Throne, and there has been a significant amount of conflict and wars to determine who sits on a giant chair made of swords.
Each family and region of the fictitious land of Westeros claims ownership to the point that each of them names themselves as kings. Which family pledges loyalty to which king is a constant theme through the show.
However, while there is fighting and disagreements about the Iron Throne, there is also a significant threat to all of humanity, an army of the undead called White Walkers led by a scary looking dude called the Night King.
Unfortunately, many people think that the White Walkers are just a made-up story to frighten children. The threat is real, and the Night King is marching and will destroy everything in his path.
While I tried to summarize eight seasons worth of television into two paragraphs, I think there are lessons we can glean from it. We get caught up in gossip, in politics, in the daily doldrums of life. Many of us jockey for positions of power or influence, and unfortunately there are often nefarious ways of climbing ladders of significance. We dwell on who said what on social media and we lose sight of the bigger picture.
What do we make kings in our lives? Is it athletics, social standing, digital media? Are we able to recognize the authority of others? What rules our hearts?
If we get focused on the little arguments and our daily routines, we miss that there is a larger battle at hand, a battle of the soul. Our choices have eternal ramifications, and there are forces that seek to destroy us. Yet, we have hope. We have the one, true king – Jesus Christ.
As we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, we have an opportunity to evaluate and to reflect on who or what rules our hearts.
If we allow Christ to be the king of our hearts, our lives will be radically different.
In John’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37)
At Baptism, we are anointed priest, prophet, and king, the threefold office of the Lord. Each baptized person is called and challenged to be like Christ to those around us, to live as priest, prophet, and king.
For young people, how can they exercise their kingly ministry? Peer witnessing is invaluable to growing the Kingdom of God.
Even with something as simple as prayer before meals, our young people can communicate to others that prayer has power and that they seek holiness. Especially for those young people who are the only Catholic in their school, there is incredible influence that they can have as Catholics wanting to become saints.
By stepping up and leading others deeper into faith, we can grow in this ministry of kingship.
Whether it’s through leading small groups or Bible studies, we can be vocal about our faith and inspire others not to follow us, but to follow Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us the courage and the holy boldness to take the sword of truth into the battle of daily life.
Advent is coming. Let us pray that we may grow in our baptismal call to be priest, prophet, and king, so that one day we may enjoy the feast at the heavenly throne.
— Adam Ganucheau is the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Mobile. He may be emailed at aganucheau@mobarch.org
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By Editor

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