Let Christ The King Of The Universe Reign in Your Life
Readings: (1st: Ezek 34, 11-17; Ps. 22, 1-6; 2nd: I Cor 15, 20-28; Gos: Mtt 25, 31-46)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Hurray! Today is the thirty fourth and last Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A. Most importantly, it is the solemnity of Christ the King. The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in order to ward off the cantankerous, deadly influence and activities of Secularism. The feast is intended to proclaim in a resounding, striking and effective way Christ’s royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations. The Holy Mother Church and all her faithful celebrate today the King of the universe who rules in power and majesty, the King who is compassionate and love, and the king who does not rule with iron fist but delivers justice on a platter of gold.
Once in a kingdom, a deadly plaque tormented the people. Every effort made to curb it proved abortive and yet no solution was in view as the inhabitants were at the verge of being wiped out. One day, a certain wise man appeared and claimed to have the solution to the plaque. Immediately, the king summoned him to his palace. He told the king that only one thing needed to be done to defeat the plaque. This news delighted the king. Then, the wise man added: “There is a balm within the forest that could cure the plague, but the problem is that someone needs to go and get it.” The king responded swiftly, “That is not a problem at all!” But the wise man retorted, “My king it is a big problem.” Again, the king said, “My friend that is not a problem because in my kingdom I have brave men and women who can do anything to get it.” To this the wise man added, “My king but the oracle has chosen someone already for this task.” The king said to him, “So tell me who it is and we shall fetch him immediately.” The wise man hesitated and then broke the silence: “He is your heir apparent and only son!” At this, the king was enraged and immediately condemned the wise man to death by hanging. A few days later, he sent his bravest men into the forest in search of the balm, but none of them returned alive, again and again he continued sending until he and his son were the only men left. Eventually the plague hit the palace and both of them were struck dead the same day, and the entire dynasty was annihilated. One man could have saved this dynasty and possibly lived, but because of the self-centeredness of the king all went down. This is not the kind of king we celebrate today. We celebrate the King who was ready to, and actually died for us his flock in order to give us life in full. He is not selfish but self sacrificing. This King differs from our worldly kings because he is love himself as well as the model of all kings.
In the first reading of today, the Lord through his oracle prophet Ezekiel reassures us of his continuous readiness to look after us: “I am going to look after my flock myself… I shall rescue them…I shall be a true shepherd to them…” We must note here that the Lord God himself will do his job. One remarkable thing about this reading is that for nine times the personal pronoun “I” was employed to convey first, the fact of God’s personal interest in his flock and second, his promises to all of us his children which he has long ago fulfilled through Jesus Christ our King and ruler of the universe. In this reading also, God sort of presented the manifesto of his government to be headed by Christ. His, is quite different from those our earthly vote and political power seekers present to us, such as the following: free education, housing, medical care, transportation, low taxation, more jobs, high income rates and even free air, water, wives and husbands etcetera. You and I know full well that they hardly come close to fulfilling even ten percent of their promises before the end of their tenure in office. Yet, another set returns with the same old fashion lies. In contrast, the manifesto of God is absolutely different, because it is real, true and devoid of falsehood. It is not charity with a hook. God is a faithful King who never lies but fulfils his promises as the book of Numbers reminds us: “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Nu 23, 19)
In the second reading, Paul takes us memory lane about how Christ achieved his kingship and how he will continue to maintain it until he has conquered our last enemy death. Christ accomplished a task that no other could. This task is the defeat of sin and Satan through his own death. It was a hundred percent knockout. He had to do this to salvage us from the whips and caprices of Satan our arch enemy: “By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Col 2, 14). This is what he has done for our sake and for the sake of his kingdom. So we must abide with him who shed his blood for us. We must be part of his kingdom and pay homage to him every day of our life because, he reigns supreme over the entire universe.
In today’s gospel, Matthew reminds us of the rule and reign of Christ. His reign is one of justice because he will judge each one according to his or her action. He shall uphold the just and reprimand the culprit. There is no corruption, embezzlement, manipulation, or structural injustices in his kingdom or during his reign. Rather, his reign will be the reign of peace because: “…He will judge among many people, rebuking strong nations far away; and they will reshape their swords as plowshares and their spears as pruning hooks. No nation will threaten another, nor will they train for war anymore” (Ish 2, 4; Micah 4, 3). His scepter shall be peace and justice. My dear brethrens, today’s celebration will only make meaning to us if only we have given Christ the highest seat and key to the kingdom of our hearts where he earnestly desires to reign. If he reigns in every heart, then he reigns in our world. If he reigns there already, then rejoice and celebrate, if not, then let us ask him today, to come in because he says to us: “I stand at the door waiting, if you open I will come in to eat and dine with him” (Rev 3, 20). If he reigns in you, then yours are all gains and no losses.
In conclusion, as we celebrate Christ the King of the universe today let us allow him to be truly in control of the kingdom of our heart because as the “Buen Pastor” (Good Shepherd), Jesus will not oppress or lead us astray as our earthly kings do. If we make the Lord our King and Shepherd, then there is nothing we shall lack, because, his goodness and mercy will follow us, all the days of our life. Of course, in the beautiful court of King Jesus’ palace shall we all dwell.
Peace be with you!