Jesus Christ, the King

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Christ the King

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Solemnity of Christ the King, Year C

The Church’s liturgical year concludes with this feast of Christ the King, instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 to celebrate the jubilee year and the 16th centenary of the Council of Nicea (325). Instituting this feast, Pope Pius XI proclaimed: “Pax Christi in regno Christi” (the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ). Although emperors and kings with real ruling power exist today only in history books, we nevertheless honor Christ as the King of the Universe and the King of our hearts by allowing him to take control of our lives. In thousands of human hearts all over the world, Jesus still reigns as King. The Cross is his throne and the Sermon on the Mount, his rule of law. His citizens need obey only one major law: “Love God with all your being, and love others as I have loved you.” His love is selfless, compassionate, forgiving, and unconditional. He is a king with a saving and liberating mission: freeing us from all types of bondage, enabling us to live peacefully and happily on earth, and promising us an inheritance in the eternal life of heaven.

What do we therefore need to do in line with today’s Solemnity:

1. We need to assess our commitment to Christ the King today. As we celebrate the kingship of Christ today, let us remember the truth that he is not our King if we do not listen to him, love him, serve him, and follow him. We belong to his Kingdom only when we try to walk with him, when we try to live our lives fully in the spirit of the Gospel, and when that Gospel spirit penetrates every facet of our living. If Christ is really King of my life, he must be King of every part of my life and I must let him rule in all parts of my life. We become Christ the King’s subjects by cultivating in our lives the gentle and humble mind of Christ, we show others that Jesus Christ is indeed our king and that he is in charge of our lives.

Susan C. Kimber, in a book called Christian Woman, shares a funny piece of advice she received from her little son: "Tired of struggling with my strong-willed little son, Thomas, I looked him in the eye and asked a question I felt sure would bring him in line: 'Thomas, who is in charge here?' Not missing a beat, he replied, ‘Jesus is, and not you mom.’ "

Let us ask ourselves the question, "What does Jesus, my King, want me to do or say in difficult/trying situations?" Are we praying each day that he will give us the right words to say to the people we meet that day, words that will make us true ambassadors of Jesus? Does our home life as well as the way we conduct ourselves with our friends come under the Kingship of Jesus? Or do we try to please ourselves rather than him?

2. We need to give Jesus control over our lives. Today’s feast of Christ the King reminds us of the great truth that Christ must be in charge of our lives, that we must give him sovereign power over our bodies, our thoughts, our heart and our will. In every moral decision we face, there’s a choice between Christ the King and Barabbas, and the one who seeks to live in his kingdom is the one who says, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Let us ask ourselves the question, "What does Jesus, my King, want me to do or say in this situation?" Are we praying each day that he will give us the right words to say to the people we meet that day, words that will make us true ambassadors of Jesus? Does our home life as well as the way we conduct ourselves with our friends come under the Kingship of Jesus? Or do we try to please ourselves rather than him?

3. We need to follow Christ the King’s lesson of humble service to the truth. Christ has come to serve and to be of service to others. Hence, we are called to his service - service to the truth. In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus saying that the reason for his coming-- the reason that he was born--was to be of service to the truth. The truth Jesus teaches us is that God his Father is also our loving and forgiving Father, so we are all His children, forming one body. Hence, whatever we do for His children, and our sisters and brothers, we do for Him. We are called to be a people who reach out to embrace the enemy and the stranger, a people called to glory in diversity, a people who will endlessly forgive, a people who will reach out in compassion to the poor and to the marginalized sectors of our society, a people who will support one another in prayer, a people who realize that we are called not to be served, but to serve. In other words, servant-leadership is the model that Christ the King has given us. Lesson of the story: When he comes in glory, Christ the King is going to judge us on the basis of our corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

So who is YOUR KING? What qualities do your KING embody? Let me answer that question with this quote:

WHO IS JESUS?

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.

He had no army, yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Jesus practically has NOTHING other than the CROSS. But, He will always be KING in OUR HEARTS until we SEE Him again after this life. When that time comes, surely we will know:

Christ is King of glory! Amen.

Christ is Lord of Lords! Amen.

Christ is King and Servant of all! Amen.

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