Friday, November 20, 2009

King of Kings

Reflections on the Readings
The Solemnity of Christ the King
November 22, 2009 Year B
By Dennis Hankins

Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world..."(John 18/:36 RSV)

"You mean Jesus is not a politician, not a power seeker?"


"And if his kingship were of this world, his servants would fight for him to keep him from being handed over to the Jews?"


"And he really said his kingship is not of this world?"


"But you say he is a King?" 

"That's right!  And his kingdom is a kingdom of truth!"

"Truth? What is truth?"

And so it goes.  The question has been around about 21 centuries.  And for 21 centuries Christ's rule and reign has been a witness to the truth and the freedom his way, his life, his truth brings to all of us.  Unlike earthly domains of monarchs and rulers Christ's kingdom is not of this world; its citizens who are in the world also are not of this world.  

Let's hear that again. Here it is: Jesus and his followers are not of this world.  Never have been nor ever will be.  Our prayer every Lord's day is, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven."  As we celebrate the Kingship of Christ let us recommit ourselves to embracing in our hearts his Lordship, for the kingdom must first be in us.  

The first reading invites us to have a new vision of our King.  A new vision that his kingship is indestructible, and is open to all peoples, nations, and languages.  Under his benevolent Kingship is the mosaic of rich and poor, Kings and paupers, black and white, red and yellow, the halt and the maimed, the blind and the deaf, the hungry and the thirsty, all together saying by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is Lord and King forever and forever.  

We are called to carry this vision of our King everywhere we go, remembering that if we are ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of us.  How desperately our times need your friendship and the friendship of the one in your heart.  We need a new courage like St. Paul's that says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who has faith..." (Romans 1:16) If this generation is to turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God and know in their hearts the forgiveness of sins then must the Church in this moment of history pray to be full of the life of her risen and ascended King.  

We know that the whole world is under the power of the evil one, (1 John 5:19) but greater his he who is in you than he who is in the world. ( 1 John 4:4) This is the faith of the earliest followers of this King.  And the King they followed is the same King we love even Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8) 

This liturgical year ends as history will one day end, in the revelation that Jesus is the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  We have this Solemnity of Christ the King to remind us that we don't have to wait until the end of time to know and to proclaim the Lord is king, robed in splendor  and girded with strength.  We need not wait till the last day to know today that Christ's Throne stands firm from all of eternity; that he is high and lifted up and that his glory fills our lives, our Church and all of history and time.  

He is the Alpha and Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.  Amen.

Let us pray: Dear Father whose kingdom is love, and whose Son is our Sovereign, kindle in us the fire of your love by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  Now to the blessed Three in One be glory, and honor, and splendor, now and forever more.  Amen.     

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