Homily November 24, 2013 Solemnity of Christ the King

Posted in christian, Christianity, church events, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on November 19, 2013

The Solemnity or Feast of Christ the King is a rather recent addition to the liturgical calendar of the Christian churches. It was first celebrated in 1925 when Pius XI established it. At that time, Pius was a man without a country, as the Vatican or Papal States had ceased to exist in 1870 and no resolution had been made regarding the Pope’s status. concordatSo at that time, the pope had no earthly governmental power and apparently this feast was part of several years of Pius working and establishing a treaty with Mussolini making Vatican City a free and independent nation in 1929. The feast was originally celebrated the last Sunday of October, but was moved to the last Sunday of the Liturgical year in 1969 at which time it began to be celebrated by other Christian Churches when their calendars and readings began to be shared. I give this background because it is interesting that Christ never had a kingdom on earth and even told Pilate his kingdom is not of this world. He certainly never had the trappings of royalty, and kingship for him meant service to others. Even with all the finery that he provided David the King of Israel, he expected David to be a shepherd of his people. In America, we have little concern for what a king is as it is foreign to what we know. Long ago we put aside the monarchy and formed a new way of governing. But what matters is that whatever form of government there is the keystone must be service of the people and their common good.

Christ’s Kingship resembles nothing we see in any nation today. His rule is to meet each of us where we are. His work is to call and lead us to him and his Father. His message is the same as when he walked the earth. We are all called to repent and believe and to love, His power, his glory was the cross and the life he gave on it for all of us. As a man he was Szoke_Peter_Jakab-Christ_the_Kingscorned, he was abused because he believed and followed God his Father unconcerned about what his contemporaries thought. He refused high honors and always was concerned for those who were with him and listening to him. In today’s gospel we have heard the scorn and derision launched at him as he died on the cross. Yet even then, he could forgive and welcome another companion to the next life. The placard on his cross said “King Of The Jews”, but this was only to mock him more. Compassion and forgiveness were only words to those who only looked out for themselves. It was so much easier for the rulers and priest to live on in their own comfort ignoring the commands of God to seek their own advantage.

Finally, if you look at Romans 13, the state is seen as a minister or functionary of God, calling for compliance. In the book of Revelations, chapter 13, The state is the beast that came from the abyss. With such an interesting disparity, we are reminded that life is a journey and one companion stands out to show us the way. His way is not an easy way but it is a loving, giving way. It is one of giving to others, of serving and sharing. It is a way of accepting what God gives and being all that we can be. It is the way of his kingship and of sharing in it.