Sunday readings in brief 34 Sunday C: Solemnity of Christ the King
2 Sam 5:1-3; Ps 121(122); Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43
Who is my King?
Dear friends, I would like to share with you this beautiful excerpt from Universalis with minimum editing. “The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925, the sixteenth centenary of the Council of Nicaea at which the doctrine of the consubstantiality of Christ with the Father was defined. Its eschatological character was confirmed by its move, in the calendar reforms of the Second Vatican Council, to the final Sunday of the liturgical year.” This solemnity marks the end of the Liturgical year for all three cycles A, B, and C. Next Sunday will, therefore, be the first Sunday of Advent year A and the liturgical colour will change to purple.
During its institution, “the Pope asserted that the most effective defense against the destructive forces of the age is the recognition of the kingship of Christ; and, furthermore, a feast which is celebrated every year by everyone is a far better way of deploying that defense than any number of books written by learned people. First, we do; then we come to understand what it is that we are doing.”
“Each of us has been anointed with holy oil at baptism, as priest, prophet, and king. The feast of Christ the King is thus a good moment to reflect on our kingship and on what “king” means and how to be one. Understanding the feast makes us understand our own call better.” I have heard some Christians claiming that they have been bewitched or are afraid of being bewitched. Witchcraft is a belief in dark powers that were conquered by Christ our King on the cross. When we are baptized, we are delivered from such dark powers and we cannot be subject to them unless we subject ourselves. Only those who believe and practice witchcraft can be subject to them just as only those who are baptized and profess Christ to be their King will be delivered by him from all evil.
In order to understand our Kingship as a human being, “one possible point of entry is in Genesis, where Adam sits in state and God brings him all the animals for him to give them names. To give names to one’s subjects is the act of a king (as it is in many cultures). The responsibility of a king is then to care for his subjects, which is why we are obliged to act as custodians of creation: something no other creature is. How far that responsibility takes one can then be seen in the King of the Universe, who is simultaneously the ruler of all and the servant of all. He rules in triumph, and he rules from the Cross.” Jesus Christ is referred to as the son of David the king of Israel who was anointed by God to shepherd his people. David was a God-fearing king and the prefiguration of the Messiah King who was promised to perpetuate the kingdom eternally. Christ became the King of the new Israel which comprises people from every tribe and nation.
Perhaps a way into a meditation on all this would be to ask, “Over who am I, personally, king?” and hence “Who am I called to serve?” The servant-king identity is what we ought to understand as Christians. The kings of this world use wealth and the power of arrogance to rule over their subjects. Christ our eternal King rules from the Cross where he gives his life continuously for our salvation. He is a king with the attitude of a servant king as opposed to many who are servants but with an autocratic attitude. On the Cross, Jesus demonstrates that he is a non-violent king who forgives and restores those who repent.
Dear friends, having understood what the feast of today entails, I invite us to reflect on how we execute our mandates in the positions of leadership. What attitude do we wear when dealing with the people we are supposed to lead and serve?
Have a blessed Sunday
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD