SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING – CHRIST THE UNIVERSAL KING
Readings: Dan. 7:13-14, Rev. 1:5-8, John 18:33-37
Today, the Holy Mother Church celebrates a very important Solemnity in the faith, the Solemnity of Christ the King. It is the last Sunday in the ordinary time of the year. This solemnity was established by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quas Primas (On the Feast of Christ the King) in 1925. The solemnity was established to make Christians more conscious and convinced of the kingship and supremacy of Christ over all created things and to allow His will reign in their lives.
The Wise men from the East arrived in Jerusalem and they asked, “Where is the new-born king of the Jews? We saw the rising of his star in the East and have come to honour him” (Matt. 2:2). “They went into the house, and when they saw the child with Mary his Mother, they knelt and worshipped him. They opened their bags and offered him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11). Gold for He is a KING, incense for He is a PRIEST, myrrh for He is a PROPHET. The gifts were emblematic of the royalty, divinity and humanity of CHrist. They tell us about the three offices of Christ – kingly, priestly and prophetic. Today we are to reflect on the kingly office of Christ.
God never intended us to have a king/leader other than Him. Hence, through the history of salvation, God was in control, until the Children of Israel approached Samuel to appoint a king over them so that they could be like their neighbouring communities. God warned them of the consequences of rejecting His kingship but they would not listen (1Sam. 8: 3, 5-9).
From that time, the people never had peace. All their kings from Saul, to David and Solomon and others, failed in sustaining the covenant God had established with the People of Israel. They all failed in leading the people to live and sustain their covenantal relationship with God. As a consequence, God forsakes them and they were carried into captivity/exile. More so, the people of God where thrown into serious hardships. They were captured by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans respectively.
Since God is full of mercy and compassion, a God of second chance, He had to prophesy that He would firmly establish his kingship forever (2 Sam. 7:12-16). He did that first with David. Since then, the People of Israel kept looking out for the fulfilment of the Davidic everlasting dynasty.
It was again renewed through the first reading, the coming of a genuine king with an everlasting kingdom. Cf. the first reading, Dan. 7:13-14.
That prophecy was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Hence, Matthew 1:1 would address Jesus Christ as “son of David” and Luke 1:32-33 says “The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and his reign shall have no end.”
The second reading says he fulfilled the prophecy by His REDEMPTION: “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever (Rev. 1:5b-6).
The Gospel tells us something about the nature of Christ’s kingship. Jesus before Pilate made it clear that He was an eternal king and is born a king. Where is his kingdom? He is a King who has no geographical boundaries/territories. He is the king of the universe. He says: “My kingship is not of this world” (John 18:36). His kingship and kingdom is a spiritual one. It is not a political entity as we have that of Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain. His kingdom traverses space and time. What is the mission of his kingship? He says, He was born a king to “bear witness to the truth” (John 18:36).
From the foregoing, we can see that Christ is a king in three ways:
1. He is a king by blood
2. He is a king by popular acknowledgement
3. He is a king by his deeds/legacies.
WHAT ARE WE TO DO FOR CHRIST?
Throughout the liturgical year we have been celebrating the events of Christ’s redemptive mission for us. Now is the time for us to appreciate Him. The best we could do for Him is to recognise his REIGN over our lives and to give Him total allegiance. We are to say like St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). Importantly, his reign is not like the leaders of the world, who lord it over their subjects: He says, “You know that the rulers of the nations act as tyrants over them, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you: whoever wants to be more important in your community shall make himself your servant (Matt. 20:25-26).
The question is: are we completely given to Christ? Let us watch against the modern day idolatry – money, fame, power, beauty, intelligence, wealth, success, pleasure, science and technology. We are gradually dethroning Christ and enthroning our will. Hence, there are fundamentalists who claim to be killing for God. In the socio-political sphere we have politicians pushing for dangerous ideologies like legalization of abortion, same sex marriages, early girl child’s marriage and a host of others.
Families are torn apart on moral issues. There are wide spread incidence of divorce, emotional separations within marriages and adultery.
Let us rediscovery the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ and His kingdom. Lord, “thy kingdom come” God bless you. Amen.