Homily of the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King
Saint Louis King of France Parish – Memphis
Fr. Carlos Donato, MDiv
Thy Kingdom Came, Lord!
Dear Brothers and Sisters, today in the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe, we beseech Jesus to be our King and Lord. We once more implore him to be the King of our lives, our society and our country while faithfully we repeat: Thy Kingdom Come, Lord! We finish the liturgical year cycle B given to Christ our worship and adoration as recognition of his sovereignty above the whole human race. There is not another Savior than Jesus. And there is not salvation outside of Him and his Kingdom. “From the beginning, the community of believers has recognized in Jesus a salvific value such that he alone, as Son of God made man, crucified and risen, by the mission received from the Father and in the power of the Holy Spirit, bestows revelation (cf. Mt 11:27) and divine life (cf. Jn 1:12; 5:25-26; 17:2) to all humanity and to every person” (Dominus Iesus, XV). This is why at the Most Sacred name of Jesus we must bow and bend our knee. (Phl 2,10).
The Solemnity of Christ the King was instituted in the Church by Pope Pius XI and it was initially celebrated in the last Sunday of the month of October, one Sunday before the feast of all saints each year. After the Reform of the Liturgical Calendar, by Pope Saint Paul VI the feast was transferred to the last Sunday of the Liturgical year. In this way the year finishes recognizing Christ as the Lord and king of the whole human race.
Pope Pius XI wanted to present to the society of his time, that was running way from God, that Christ is the center of the history not us, ourselves but only in him human history has sense. Saint Paul presents Jesus to the Ephesians as the fulfilment of times, the Lord of History in whom everything will be restore. “As a plan for the fullness of time, to restore all things in Christ, in Heaven and on earth” (Eph 1,10). Saint John in the Book of Revelation in his vision of the heavenly Jerusalem explains to us why Jesus is the Lord of history and king of all: “I saw standing in the midst of the throne … a Lamb that seemed to have been slain He come and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne … they cried out in laud voice ‘worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive the power and riches, wisdom and strength honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5,1-10). Only Jesus through his incarnation, passion, death and Resurrection is table to broke the seals of history and interpreted and give sense to it. Without Jesus the human history has not sense to be written.
The idea of taking Christ away from the human society is an error. It always has been only producing death, destruction, pain and frustration. Many have already try to create societies, countries, and cities around the world where Christ and his kingship are not invited or wanted. Many contemporaneous political, social and philosophical systems were created intending to be completed without Christ. One of those, the Nihilism of Nietzsche and its superman’s theory which has as consequences the depression, and frustration caused by the lack of openness to the transcendent and metaphysical. We as human beings are by nature limited creatures inclined to the Metaphysical which needs transcendence. In another words, we need God’s help and grace in order to achieve things that are not possible by our own strength. Another example is the political system of the communism that excluding God from society and from the nations creating as God’s substitute the total dependency of the state. The state is converted in god who cares and provide for all. While the small number which had not whatsoever had problems or needs the whole society the workers are brought to death or to exile by the system.
Dear Brethren, the places were God is not allowed the human dignity is not observed and consequently the human being is seen as an object and a nuisance to the state. How many lives were harvested by the red dragon of communism? Only God knows the suffering of his people under a society in which he is not invited to help. About this reality, Pope Pius XI reminds us that: “When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony”. In another words freedom, liberty and order will only be possible if Christ Kingdom is restored in our society. As consequence of God’s kingdom the dignity of the human life and it values will be back.
After we see the consequences of the rejection of Christ as our King I invite you to see what God’s kingdom means. “In the New Testament, the word “basileia”can be translated by “kingship” (abstract noun), “kingdom” (concrete noun) or “reign” (action noun). The Kingdom of God lies ahead of us. It is brought near in the Word incarnate, it is proclaimed throughout the whole Gospel, and it has come in Christ’s death and Resurrection. The Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper and, in the Eucharist, it is in our midst. The kingdom will come in glory when Christ hands it over to his Father” (CEC 2816). The kingdom of God is in our midst we must open ourselves to receive and accept it. We pray every day thy kingdom come. We pray it many times. Now we need to ask ourselves how sincere this petition is? The implantation of God’s kingdom starts with the conversion of our hearts mind and acts. Our challenge is transform ourselves in the living presence of Christ in the middle of those we encounter in our personal and professional lives. When we be completely open to God’s will then Christ will start to reign over us.
There are the characteristics of God’s Kingdom, the kingdom in which Jesus, before Pilate today, affirms to be the king. : First a kingdom of truth and Justice. Because God is the truth himself he does not know anything else that is not the truth and consequently just. His criteria of judgment are not what I heard about but what happens. Through the prophet Isaiah God adverts us that truth and justice will encounter place in his kingdom it will never see an end. Second, it is a kingdom of holiness and grace. “The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (CEC 2819). In this kingdom death, injustice, suffering and disgrace have not place to exist in it.
Finally, the difference between the human kingdom and God’s kingdom is that in a human kingdom the king is the sovereign to whom people pay their homage and duties. The human king rules above the subjects in a legitimate way as they are their kings by birth. Once the royal family is instinct their kingship is over. On the other hand, Jesus kingdom is based not in fear of duties to be paid to a severing but it is based in worship due to the recognition of Jesus as our God, Savior and Lord. In Jesus and only in him we are saved. Jesus kingship was acquire in his gesture of love laying down his life for the salvation of his subjects souls. He is king through the offering of his own life on the cross. All are citizens of his kingdom by the grace received in the baptism. And he rules by justice and love. On his kingdom the one who serves more is the one who is more loved by the eternal king. The titles of nobility in Jesus kingdom is confer upon those who serve Jesus present in the poor, the suffering and the abandon, and also who give up their lives for the salvation of others.
Christ our King, our most sweet Jesus, redeemer of the human race we are yours and yours we wish to be. Many indeed have never know you, many too, despising thy precepts have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus. Be you our king, be king also of the prodigal children, who have abandoned you. May they quickly return to their father’s house. Christ Jesus, our King thy kingdom come, may you empire over us so we will never be confused forever. Amen