Homily for the 34th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B

Christ, King of the Universe Reigns!

Readings: 1st: Dan 7, 13-14; Ps: 15; 2nd: Rev 1, 5-8; Gos: Jn 18, 33-37

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

(https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8452-8392)

The solemnity of Christ the King marks the definitive end of the church’s ordinary time, and of course, the entire liturgical calendar year B. Today, we acknowledge and adore Christ as the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the beginning and the end.

Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 in response to growing nationalism and secularism. It was also instituted to promote the worship of Christ in the privacy of our hearts and publicly. The title of the feast was “Jesu Christi Regis” (Jesus Christ the King).

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In his “motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis” of 1969, Pope Paul VI gave the celebration a new title: “Iesu Christi universorum Regis” (Jesus Christ, King of the Universe). He also moved the fest to the last Sunday in the liturgical calendar and transformed it from a feast to a “Solemnity.”

Both our first and second readings bear witness to the lordship of Christ. Daniel prophesied about Christ’s eternal and peaceful reign. He identified Christ as the “Son of Man.” While John called Him: “the firstborn of all creation…the Alpha and the Omega.” Both readings also remind us that Christ’s reign shall be that of peace, justice, love, and truth.

In today’s gospel, Pilate and the Jews ignorantly castigated and crucified Christ their King. They did not accept the truth that Christ preached about his kingdom. Instead, they hardened their hearts, thinking that everything ends here on earth.

Like Pilate and his collaborators, some of us are deceived by what we see in this world. That is, by believing that everything ends here on earth. However, the truth is that the kingdom of this world will pass away, but the kingdom of Christ will last forever.

One of today’s celebration’s most important goals is to acknowledge and worship Christ as the king of the universe. We must allow Him to reign in our lives. If He reigns in every heart, our families, society, and our entire world would be a better place.

So, today’s celebration challenges us to ask ourselves this fundamental question: “Is Christ reigning in my life? Today’s fest will be of no use if we have not given Christ a chance to reign in our lives, in our families, businesses, and our entire world.

Also, today’s celebration calls us to ensure that Christ, the king, is our role model. He should be a model to all kings, rulers, and leaders. He cares, loves, and lives in peace with his people. He does not rule with military might or financial strength. Instead, he is a Good Shepherd.

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As the King of Kings, Christ is a just judge, a compassionate and merciful king. He is a king who treats his subjects as brothers and friends. He is close, and we do not need any special protocol to reach him. Today, let us join the psalmist in proclaiming: “The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.”

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!

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