Allegiance to Christ the sovereign King
Readings: 2 Sam 5, 1-3; Ps 122, 1-2.4-5; Col 1, 12-20; Lk 23,35-43
The Solemnity of Christ the King brings the Liturgical Year to a beautiful end. It is Christ who crowns what He started in us. An end has come so that we may embrace a new beginning which should be characterized by a renew allegiance to Him who empowers us with His power in order to continue His mission on earth. Let us rediscover what Christ the King means to us and thus redefine ourselves as His faithful subjects.
In “normal democracies” elected leaders can be criticized and even ejected from office. In the relationship between the people and their king, however, it is different. For people under the leadership of a king, there is something sacred around any ascendancy to the throne. There is a belief that God speaks first in the selection of the king. This was not different with the people of Israel. They acknowledge God`s choice of David to shepherd them. This gives us a hint about the function of the kingship that flows from God. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who used His power to feed, lead, protect, and defend His sheep. We are the sheep of His flock. We have been entrusted into His hands. As we celebrate Him as our Shepherd-King, let make sure that nothing steals us away from Him. Good news is that He goes out to search for those at the risk of getting lost.
St. Paul writing to the Colossians helps us to articulate the primacy of Christ as the great reconciler between God and humanity. His sovereignty is clearly stated; “Jesus is Lord.” There is no power that can match the fullness of God residing in Christ. His sovereignty can never be surpassed or subdued. He is the King who has put death to death on the Cross. This he does in defence of those He loves. We have a king who is at the same time a friend. The evangelist John gives us Jesus` assurance: “There is no greater love than giving one`s life for one`s friends” (see Jn 15, 13). He chooses to die so that His friends may live. We submit ourselves to Christ with the confidence of little children in the arms of the mother. In Him we are safe and protected. Let us then always long to be in His presence.
Whereas today`s first reading has told us what a temporal king is and the hymn in the Letter to the Colossians how the glorified Christ reigns, the Gospel presents to us the brutal cost of being the sovereign King of all. The reconciliation He won for us came at the point of being nailed to the Cross. This pitiful sight does not portray a king in human terms. There is no sign of power, no sign of God`s favour. He is a rejected and humiliated king. We ought to note that there was one person who saw behind this battered and blood-stained face “the image of the invisible God”. The so called “good thief” was rewarded for his “ability to see” Jesus`s sovereignty with paradise itself. Christ is indeed a companion up to His last hour. He is close to us in our misery. He is the King who hangs on His throne and gives life. He forgives. The celebration of Christ the King invites us to contemplate His face so that we may encounter Him in the disfigured faces and bodies around us.
We have a king who listens to our cries. We can bring anything to Him in prayer. Let us bring to Him all those things that hold some power (sovereignty) over our life like financial concerns, greed, lack of forgiveness, anger, promiscuity, drunkenness etc. and ask for the grace to be freed from the bondage to any power other than that of Christ, our king. May we be loyal and devoted to Him above all others! May His will reign in our minds and accept the Church`s teachings with firm belief! May His will reign in our hearts so that we may love Him above all things! May His will reign in our will! May His will reign in our bodies so that also our bodies may glorify Him. His Kingdom cannot co-exist with other kingdoms. When we pray in the Our Father: “may your Kingdom come!” let us remember to say: “May my kingdom go!” Let us put an end to any manipulation and exploitation of others through the power entrusted to us. Let us use power to serve. “The greatest among you must be your servant” (Mt 23, 11). Jesus, our King has given us an example.
The example of the servant of God Fr. Joseph Ambrosoli who is beatified today in Kalongo (Gulu Archdiocese) helps us to understand that what matters in life is to do God`s will and that to do whatever God wants is a beautiful thing. May we, through his intercession, surrender ourselves entirely into God`s hands with boundless confidence! Christus vincit. Christus regnat. Christus imperat (Christ conquers. Christ reigns. Christ commands).