Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We have reached the last Sunday of the liturgical calendar. We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King today. Jesus is our king, the king of our heart and our home. I think this is the day we should reflect on why we call him our King. Christ is the King of Kings not only because of who he is but also because of what he did.
First, Jesus is the King of Kings because of who he is. People sometimes call gold the king of metals. That’s because gold is popularly thought to be the most precious of all metals. And people sometimes call the lion the king of beasts. That’s because the lion is popularly thought to be the noblest of all the animals. And music people of the 1930s and 1940s sometimes called Benny Goodman the king of swing. That’s because Benny Goodman understood that music form better than anyone else. In other words, we use the term king to designate the best there is in a certain area. In a similar way, we call Jesus the king of the human race. For Jesus is the best, the noblest human being who ever lived.
Paul expresses the same idea in today’ second reading, when he says: “(Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” And so Jesus is the King of Kings. He is the King of Kings because of who he is. He is the “image of the invisible God.” He is the noblest human being who ever lived.
This brings us to the second reason why Jesus is the King of Kings. He merits that title because of what he did. In April 1865, the slain body of President Abraham Lincoln lay in state for a few hours in Cleveland, Ohio. It was on its final journey from the nation’s Capitol to Springfield, Illinois. In the long line of people filing by the body was a poor black woman and her little son. When the two reached the president’s body, the woman lifted up her little son and said in a hushed voice: “Honey, take a long, long look. That man died for you.” What that black mother said to her child can be said about Jesus by every mother of every child. Pointing to the body of Jesus on the crucifix, she can say: “Honey, take a long, long look. That man died for you.” And so Jesus is the King of Kings. He is the King of Kings not only because of who he is but also because of what he did. He died for us. He redeemed us. He reunited us with God. Paul puts it this way in today’s second reading: “God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself…through his Son’s sacrificial death on the cross.”
This is what the Feast of Christ the King is all about. This is what we celebrate on this final Sunday of the liturgical year. We celebrate the fact that Jesus, the King of Kings, grows larger and larger with each step in the passing parade of history. We celebrate the fact that Jesus is the King of Kings not only because of who he is, the Son of God, but also because of what he did. He died for us; he redeemed us. He reunited us with God and we celebrate with one another the fact that Jesus is the King of Kings because he gave us everything he had. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13). This day and every day of our life we should proclaim: “’Long live Christ the King’ Viva Christo Ray!!!” for he is the king who would like to live in our hearts and abide in our homes to strengthen us and protect us. Let us love our King the King of Love. Let us ask him to expel everything that possesses his place in our lives.
Let’s close with a prayer:
Lord Jesus, it’s not enough for us to look at you carrying your cross and to proclaim you to be our king. It’s not enough for us to bow our heads and call you Lord of Lords. It’s not enough for us to praise you on this your feast day. We must pick up our own cross and follow you. We must follow you every day of our lives. We must follow even to the cross itself, if that be your will.
And if we do, you will say to us before we die what you said to the good thief before he died: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Amen
God Bless You,