Headline: OF JESUS CHRIST, THE UNIVERSAL KINGPosted on: 2013-12-20
Going With the King
The Catholic Liturgical Year for the year 2013 ended with the Solemnity of Christ the King. On that day, we Catholics all over the world did a \"prayerful pilgrimage\" with the Holy Eucharist through the streets in their vicinity to demonstrate to the world our faith in Jesus Christ as the Universal King. Carrying the Eucharist in procession through the city we believe that His abiding presence there sanctifies our towns, communities and homes. \"Behold, I am with you till the end of time\" (Matt. 28:20). Such a procession is also a powerful reminder that we all are pilgrims here on earth and that we travel through life successfully only if we do it with Jesus himself. So, every pilgrimage has an end. What if yours ended today? Are you ready to meet the king? Even the liturgical season dies as it ends on the solemnity of Christ, the King; the Sunday which follows begins another season, advent, in expectation of Christmas.
The Magic in November
November has magic in it. It is a special month in Catholic life. Right from the first day in November, we are reminded of the universal call to holiness and the reality of our mortality through two powerful celebrations, All Saints Day and All Souls Day respectively. Regardless of our achievements and dreams in this world we all come with an expiry date, to depart from here and to give account for everything. \"It was from clay that you were taken, for you are dust and to dust you shall return\"(Gen 3:19). Our constant concern must be the anticipation of what comes after life here on earth. Indeed, every Christian must self-examine: \"How do I want to spend eternity, smoking or non-smoking?\"
The Roll Call of Life
The death of the Liturgical season on the solemn Sunday of Christ the King is luckily not a permanent one for it begets yet another Liturgical year at Advent, the following week. You know who said: \"I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me though he dies shall live\" (John 11; 25). Without a spiritual understanding, it is difficult to deal with the cycle of life and death, beginning and end, night and day, darkness and light. The human mind naturally seeks that dominant power which controls it all. That is why St Augustine once said \"Our hearts are restless oh Lord, until they rest in you\"
We Christians however are favoured. We know by faith that Jesus Christ is King of all the world, that everything is made through him and for him and that without him nothing was made (Jn. 1:3). That puts a positive face on all realities that affect Christians today. The Kingship of Jesus Christ overshadows the conspiracy of evil, the culture of death and the gang-up of corruption that beset modern society. In that cloud of corruption, infidelity and moral decadence, we Christians must find the courage to counter the mean \"We have no King but Caesar\" (Jn. 19:15) and the \"Crucify Him\" outcry of the crowd in Pilate\'s court, with our own \"My Lord and My God\". It is thus we enlist on the roll call of eternal life with the king of Kings.
The Signature of the King
The second reading at the Mass of Christ the King Sunday seems to be the signature of Jesus Christ, king of the Universe himself. St. Paul laid it out in a brilliant manner. \"He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through him and for him... For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross\". Only one person can be described in such words. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the wisdom of God, who was who us and who will be, Jesus of Nazareth (Col 1:15-20).
What Manner of King
The wise Bishop emeritus of Oyo diocese, Julius Adelakun, at the end of the procession this year, admonished Christians in some very powerful words. He said that while the powers of all other earthly kings have boundaries, Jesus\' powers remain universal and boundless. He asked rhetorically: \"Where are all the Persian, the Babylonian, the Roman empires gone before. They are all subjects of history now. Jesus\' kingdom is however, everlasting\". I agree with him. Did Jesus himself not say: \"Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away\" (Mark 13:31). Jesus is the King whose throne here on earth was not gilded with gold and silver and ornaments like others\'. No, his throne was on the cross of selfless service where he gave his life as a ransom for all who would believe in him. All the kings of this world rule by force, by power and so need soldiers and security. This king rules with love and rules well too. It will always be true that our world will know peace only when we replace the love of power with the power of love. Yet all that says only so little about the immensity of King Jesus Christ.
The Centrality of Jesus Christ
In his homily for the closing of the Year of Faith and the Solemnity of Christ the King Pope Francis spoke of the centrality of Christ to Christian life. of the image of Jesus presented on the day the Pope said \"This image enables to see that Jesus is the centre of creation; and so the attitude demanded of us as true believers is that of recognizing and accepting in our lives the centrality of Jesus Christ, in our thoughts, in our words and in our works. And so our thoughts will be Christian thoughts, thoughts of Christ. Our works will be Christian works, works of Christ; and our words will be Christian words, words of Christ. But when this centre is lost, when it is replaced by something else, only harm can result for everything around us and for ourselves\".
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