Christ the King | Reflection – The Kingship of the Christ
The Kingship of the Christ
Solemnity of Christ the King (A)
Jesus is King. There is no doubt about it. In His lifetime and especially concentrated in His ministry, Jesus preaches about the Kingdom of God His Father. Moreover, in His parable He indicated His kingship by His parables referring to Himself as the Son of Man coming in glory and seated in His throne. Today’s gospel reading, the eschatological parable of judgment, Jesus refers to himself as the one sitting in the judgment throne over the lambs and goats.
The Kingship of Jesus is an enduring mystery that pervades the very fabric of salvation history. Having the idea of a “king” especially in the newer contexts of leadership, is not that appealing much less a next-to-skin experience. For most of us who lives in the present setup of democracy ruled by a “president” rather than a “king”, we cannot readily settle in to the concept. We may only have a “historical” or “ideal” concept which cuts away from us the “contextual feeling” of having a King in our midst. This proves a real challenge to us in understanding the kingship of Jesus as a mystery of our faith. Sometimes, we loosely shout with no sentimental proximity to the acclamation “Viva, Cristo Rey!” We do not know what we really shouting about. Why Christ is King? It deepens therefore the mystery to us.
In this last Sunday of Ordinary Time, fortunately, we are given a good liturgical context which we should read in faith in order for us to embrace the spiritual meaning of a king. As it is in the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the feast accumulates in itself some signposts to help us understand the kingship of Jesus.
First, this last Sunday falls within the month of November. This month, we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints, the Commemoration of All Faithful departed. As November contains the last stretch of the weeks of Ordinary time, the liturgical readings also are changing their mood. They speak about the last things like the “arrival of the bridegroom” (32nd OT) and the consolidation of accounts in the parable of talents (33rd OT). In short, these markers are reminding us of the finality, the end and the destination. The saints in glory and souls in purification remind that life on this earth is not what endures. What endures is the life to come; the end time when the bridegroom finally comes to her bride, the Church so that she will be with Him in His bed chamber and she will account herself to her Husband so that she may be sanctified by the bridegrooms love. For all of us in the collective finality, both the living and the dead, Jesus will come again, as the bridegroom of the Church whose member we are, to judge us in His love to His bride. Hence, we understand that Jesus’ Kingship is not of this world’s fashion. He is King because he rules by His love for all His subjects in the Church. The King will accept us in His Kingdom whom He preached us about in His lifetime if we have and finally uphold the same quality of love in the Church. That is why, the parable of the final judgment is not a consolidation of legal fulfillment or satisfaction of the letter of the law. Jesus the King of love, will ask us whether we love enough or not. Through the different parameters of the most human actions, Jesus is fleshing out the divine action in them — in the end do our actions contain the quality of our King as charitable and merciful?
Second, the Kingship of Jesus is all the more demonstrated by the same love founded by God’s promise in the Old Testament (first reading from Ezekiel) and made more vividly and clear in the resurrection (second reading from St. Paul’s first letter to the . Corinthians). The Resurrection is the central core of Jesus’ kingship for it lays the truths that we need to recognize:
The kingship is of Jesus chooses freely to be of service to His beloved by freely taking up the pain and death of the cross.
The kingship of Jesus demolishes the curse of death to His people so that we may live in the light of His power and not of darkness and evil. His death is not the conquest of evil to Divinity but rather God, by entering the halls of death shatters the evil in death as a curse. When we die also in faith, Satan cannot clutch us but we go in front of God’s throne, in the Kingship of his love and mercy.
The resurrection, as it not only the “killing of death” is also the championing of life. While the Church is being lifted from the dangers of everlasting death, it is being brought into the fullness of life — this is eternal life or, as Jesus would always proclaim, this is the Kingdom of God.
In this feast of Christ the King, may the statement: “Christ the King” will not just fade out. May it be a statement of faith in us: the mystery that brings each and everyone of us into the tremendous realization that His Kingship links our lives into the divine destination in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom where the devil has no power to conquer and we who believe and put our trust and confidence in His love, will not be conquered but, associating our faith in the fashion of His love and mercy, will truly conquer evil with the love of the Kingship of the Christ.