Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, the conclusion of the liturgical year[1].

The second reading comes from the introduction of the book of Revelation[2]; St. John offers grace and peace from God who is, who was and who is to come, and then he exclaims that this grace and peace also comes from Jesus Christ, who is the Ruler of all the Kings of the earth. He is the one who loves us, who has taken away our sins with His blood and who has made us a royal house of priests.

Wow! Such a beautiful paragraph! Those phrases are packed with meaning and application for us. First of all, Jesus is the Faithful Witness. As you remember, He stood before the Jewish Sanhedrin and proclaimed that He was the Messiah. He stood before the Roman authority, Pontius Pilate, and proclaimed the Truth that He, Jesus, was the King. The book of Revelation was written to encourage the Christians of the ancient Roman Empire to stand up in front of persecution and give witness to Jesus Christ even if they are putting their lives in danger. Also it was written to encourage us to stand for the truth, even when the truth not popular or is scorned by the liberal members of our society, such as standing against abortion, against embryonic stem cell research, against human cloning, against redefining marriage eliminating gender[3].

And a spontaneous question arises: “But why should I suffer when everybody else is advancing by these normal business practices? This is the way of the world.” You are right, however, my brother, my sister the early witnesses were told in the book of Revelation and throughout the Christian writings that by patient endurance you will survive[4]. And we have the same invitation, the same call. It is infinitely better for us to suffer the injustice of the world than for us to reject our call to stand as witnesses of Jesus: He is our model, our guide and our strength.

My brother, my sister, our hope is in the gift that we have received through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We live in this world but not for this world. We live for Jesus Christ. His Kingdom is not of this world, as He told Pilate[5] in today’s gospel.

And He has called us to be great with Him. He has made us royal, a royal house of priests. As you know a priest brings God to others and others to God. He is a bridge. So, we are given the ability to bring others to Him and to make His Presence a reality for others. We are priests. We share in His greatness. We share in His authority. We share in His kingship. This Christianity we profess is not just a membership in an organization or a social cub. As Christians we share in the life, the authority and the mission of the King of Kings. We have meaning, and purpose and beauty in our lives because Jesus is our reason for being whom we are, His people.

And He calls us to commitment. Now! He calls us to be committed to His Kingdom, to his church, to his parishes, to his service. He calls us to be committed to Him, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord God who is, who was and who is to come, the Almighty, the King of Kings.

In the last Sunday of the Ordinary Time let us assess our beliefs: Are they in harmony with the teachings of Jesus? Are they based on sound Catholic doctrine that has been handed down by apostolic succession? Are they based on Biblical truths? Are we wholeheartedly partaking in the spiritual Kingdom of God on earth? Are we accepting with inner joy and peace that Christ the King is presently ruling over us? Or are we looking for a false Christ and a false Kingdom?

As living stones, we must support one another, correct one another if we err from the truth, and be united in one Lord, one truth, one baptism, one Christ, one Spirit and one Holy Catholic Church ■

[1] Sunday 22nd November, 2009, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. Readings: Daniel 7:13-14. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty—Ps 92(93):1-2, 5.Apocalypse 1:5-8. John 18:33-37 [St Cecilia].
[2] The Book of Revelation, also called the Revelation of St. John, the Apocalypse of John, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ, is the last book of the New Testament. It may be shortened to Revelation, although is often mispronounced as Revelations. It is the only book in the Canon that is wholly composed of apocalyptic literature.
[3] Cfr http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-229.shtml
[4] John 16:1-4
[5] Id 18: 33b-37
Ilustration: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias Grünewald, The Mocking of Christ (detail), 1503, Oil on pine panel, Alte Pinakothek (Munich)

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris