Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING: NOT AN EARTHLY KINGDOM

Jn 18: 33-37


TODAY’S CELEBRATION OF the Solemnity of the Christ the King marks the end of the liturgical year. Our gospel brings us back to a gospel scene from Good Friday. We have to take note that Jesus dislikes being called or regarded as king. However, in this scene, it appears that He admits that He is a KIng, but different from the worldly kings. 

It would be easy to understand the kingship of Christ, if we put this in the context of his preaching. The content of his preaching is the kingdom of God. His overall vision is to establish the kingdom of God. If He reigns in the God’s kingdom, then He must be king. Now, let us try to reflect further on his kingship.

First of all, Jesus makes a qualification that His kingdom is not of this world. His kingship is far removed from our usual notion of kings. In that scene, He stands as a prisoner, and is crowned with thorns. There is another meaning of the words of Christ. In the Old Testament, the kingdom promised to Abraham was an earthly kingdom. It was a kingdom characterized by numerous descendants and the promised land. But in the New Testament, the kingdom promised is no longer earthly, but, spiritual, that is, a heavenly kingdom. Such is Jesus’ statement: “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” What is the implication of Jesus' words to our life? We are reminded by Jesus that, although we live in this world, this is not our destination. There is another world, that is, the Kingdom of God, which is our true destiny, and there Jesus reigns as King.

Secondly, the kingdom of Jesus is one of truth. His authority is the authority of truth. He is king by the fact that He lives the truth and has the power to lead others to the truth for the truth can save them to eternal life. He says, “for this I was born and came into the world, to bear witness to the truth. All who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” Christ lived by the truth and He died for the truth. For the many years following His death, the followers of Christ have been also attracted to that truth. The words of Jesus, contained in the Scriptures, are words of life and truth. And those who testify to the truth belong to His kingdom.

Thirdly, we may reflect on the implication of Christ’s kingship. A king in this world is someone who lords over others. In countries ruled by monarchs, we have seen how people revere and respect their kings. A king is a lord; somebody who rules over others. In the lord-servant relationship, the latter usually submits himself to the former. We can also adot that attitude. Since Christ is our King, then we shall allow Him to rule our life. Sometimes, we forget this basic truth. We forget this fundamental relationship between Him and us.

Today’s celebration calls us to pause and reflect on our commitment to Christ, our one and true King. May He continue to lord over us, and remain as our guide for the truth. AMEN.


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