Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
During the next five Sundays, the gospel readings will be taken from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, the great discourse on the Bread of Life. This Sunday, the gospel reading begins with the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the feeding of the crowds (John 6:1-15). We usually refer to this as the miracle of the loaves, but there is a lot more to this miracle than food for dinner. On a deeper meaning, this miracle is a sharing in the Lord Himself. It is a miracle of being filled with the food the Lord Himself gives.
A simple phrase in verse 11 reinforces this point: “Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish they wanted.” In the three Synoptic Gospels the disciples make the distribution of bread, in the gospel of John it is Jesus himself who distributes the bread-it brings to our minds what Jesus did at the Last Supper. He gives us plenty to satisfy our hunger and thirst.
In the coming week’s gospel readings, Jesus repeatedly told the people: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6: 35). More than feeding the crowds, Jesus intended to teach his disciples and the people the truths of eternal life; it is the truth about the Eucharist.
That’s why we come to Jesus, the source of life; that’s why we come to Church on Sunday to be fed by the Lord Himself. For us Catholics, it is the Mass that matters. We do have a very high theology of the Mass and our understanding of the Eucharist is firmly rooted in Sacred Scripture. We come to the Lord because we hunger for these truths, we hunger for the words of Jesus, and we hunger for the bread of life. Only our union with Jesus will satisfy the hungry hearts of our lives.
Our spiritual journey should be strong to reach our destiny. We do need heavenly food from the Lord for that journey. Yes, wonderful things can happen if we trust completely in the power of the Lord.
May God bless us all!
Christ the King Church was founded in 1940 to serve the African-American Catholics in High Point, and has since become a multi-ethnic parish celebrating both the diversity and unity of the Catholic faith and tradition. Then-Bishop Eugene F. McGuinness of Raleigh invited the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement of Graymoor, NY to staff the new mission in High Point in 1940. Father Bernardine Watson served as the first pastor, originally celebrating Mass in a funeral home. Through the generosity and perseverance of Father Watson and several benefactors, a clothing shop was acquired for use by the mission. While Mass continued to be celebrated there during much of 1941, the mission community members also turned their attention to building a new church and rectory on Kivett Drive. The new colonial-style church was dedicated by Bishop McGuinness Dec. 14, 1941.
During the 1940s and into the ’50s, the Christ the King parish community continued to grow. A school building and convent were built in 1949, and in 1950 the Franciscan Handmaids arrived from New York City to staff the school. The African-American communities, both Catholic and non-Catholic, of High Point, Thomasville and Greensboro were served by the new Christ the King School, which opened its doors to 50 students in September 1950. The friars continued their pastorate in High Point for the next several decades, cultivating a faith community that became continually more culturally diverse over time. A stained-glass window behind the church’s choir loft depicts that diversity, with Jesus surrounded by four individuals representing the African, Asian, European and Indian bloodlines that make up much of the parish community today.
Lowering enrollment, financial difficulties and the recalling of the sisters to New York forced Christ the King School to close in 1981. The diocesan office of education converted the school for use as a day care center, which began its operation in August 1981. That same year, Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement arrived at Christ the King Church to conduct the religious education program and other ministerial work, including assisting at the day care center. The center, still located on parish grounds, is now privately operated and continues to serve the area.
Upon the friars’ leaving High Point in 1991, Christ the King Church became a diocesan parish in December of that year. Fathers Martin Madison and John Hoover served the parish until December 1994, when Father Philip Kollithanath, was appointed to Christ the King Church. Assisting in the advancing growth of the Christ the King community have been many commissions and ministries focusing on the spiritual , educational, multicultural and evangelical dimensions of the parish. Parishioners gather to engage in Bible study , to learn English as a Second Language, to put their faith into action in the local community and to celebrate their ethnicity. A Hispanic center and bilingual religious education program provide sharing and learning opportunities for English and Spanish speaking parishioners, and the parish African-American Ministry offers outreach programs benefiting the local region. The Women’s Guild, Altar Guild, 55+ Club and Young & Spirited Group are active in parish and community services, and the evangelization commission provides for the spiritual needs of homebound parishioners through its Visitation Ministry. The community of Christ the King Church looks ahead to expansion and renovation projects that will accommodate the needs of a growing parish. One hundred and sixty-one households currently make up the parish registry.