Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday we hear about another aspect of prayer: persistence, not growing weary, persistence in prayer in order to triumph with God.
The widow in the Gospel persistently appeals with an unprincipled judge to grant her justice. Even though this wicked judge is proud of his freedom from the demands of religion, the persistence of the widow gradually wears him down and finally causes him to grant her justice. She wins the battle.
And in the first reading from the book of Exodus, there were the Amalekites, the fierce fighters by Moses’ time. Every nation in the Middle East was afraid of them. No nation could withstand them. And Israel, of course, could not defeat them. But with Moses’ hands raised in prayer to God, with Aaron and Hur holding Moses’ hands up high in the ancient posture of prayer, with the forces of God on the side of Israel, the Amalekites were defeated.
It was really God who defeated the Amalekites, not Moses or Joshua. It is really God who will defeat our enemies, not us. We just need to keep praying, trusting and doing our part to put up the good fight against temptation and sin. And our community, the Christian Community, is helping each of us hold up our hands in prayer.
Remember that, there is nothing impossible to God. There are no enemies too strong for the power of God. God is fighting with his people against the forces of evil, the forces that would destroy the presence of his people upon the earth. So don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Trust in God and put up the fight. Jesus has told us to persevere in prayer: “Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours” (Mark 11:24). With the power of the Lord, we will triumph.
We welcome all furniture market visitors into our parish this week. May God bless them, their business and us all!
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.