Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

Last Sunday in Ordinary Time C, Christ the King Sunday

WE CELEBRATE TODAY the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. Through the gospel reading, we are invited to reflect on Christ’s kingship. However, it is unfortunate that the point of departure of our reflection is Jesus’ Crucifixion. We must recall that Jesus was crucified between the two thieves for claiming to be king. Over his head, there is an inscription: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” But he was seen as someone different because he was a king who refuses to save himself. Amidst his great pain on the Cross, he assured the good thief of his entry into his kingdom: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Let us reflect further on the kingship of Christ.

Firstly, it has become clear to us that the kingship of Christ is different from earthly kings. He does not reign in magnificent royal palaces. Rather, he reigns on the Cross and he wears a crown interwoven with thorns. On the one hand, his hanging on the Cross signifies weakness of a king. But on the other hand, it is also indicative of a king who is willing to give his life for his people. This may be one trait that we cannot find in ordinary kings. He is a king who has a human face. He is a king who is full of compassion and mercy. Out of love, he offers himself on the Cross.

Secondly, it is also clear that his kingship cannot be seen in the extent of territories. Rather, his kingdom is a kingdom of people who are called by God. It is not geographical, but rather anthropological. Let us recall that while he was still here on earth, he preached on the dawning of the kingdom of God. There are two demands of the kingdom, namely, conversion and faith. Thus, those who repent of their sins and believe in Christ and his gospel could enter in the kingdom of God. His kingdom is a kingdom of God’s people.

Thirdly, the preceding point calls for a realization of the kingdom in us. In other words, we must make his kingship or kingdom real in our lives. In the case of earthly kings, the subjects give their allegiance, loyalty, and obedience to them. That is how the subjects are related to the kings. The subjects have such high respect and regard to their kings. In the same way, we must also give that loyalty and obedience that Christ deserves. Oftentimes, we fail in our duties and responsibilities as subjects of Christ the King. In fact, our relationship toward him is marred by unfaithfulness and disobedience. There are moments that we have done things which are contrary to his will and plan. We need to repair or correct this.

If Christ is indeed the king of our lives, we must allow ourselves to be drawn by him, and we must also allow him to rule over our life. We confess that Christ is our Lord and King. But there are moments that Christ finds difficulty to rule over us because of our stubbornness, infidelity and disobedience. This solemn celebration can only be meaningful if, in our personal and real life, we know how to surrender our life and our will to Christ, the King of the Universe.


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