Our Lord Jesus Christ King Of The Universe - Year B - 22nd November, 2015

Feast of Christ the King

In the time of Jesus' earthly life, the king was of utmost importance - even time itself was calculated on the basis of when monarchs began their reign. In this Year of Our Lord 2015, the question is: what does the title Christ as King mean to us?

To associate him with earthly kings and queens would not be helpful. Their rule today is very much symbolic, although in past years they ruled with power and might. Jesus never sought an earthly kingdom, nor did he seek power, “he came to serve and not be served”.

He specifically told us that the kingdom of God was within. Later on in this Mass, we will hear a lot of words used to describe his kingdom.

A kingdom of truth and life. We admit the truth in general, but do not like to face the truth when someone challenges us about our failures, mistakes or weaknesses. We become insecure and tend to deny the truth. Yet Jesus said, “the truth shall make you free”. The truth which Jesus brings is that God loves us and reaches out to us. It is in the light of this certainty that we can move forward without fear, even if others tend to reject us. It becomes a source of life for us.

A kingdom of holiness and grace. We tend to shy away from being thought of as holy, but in doing so we are denying who we really are, children of God through Baptism. Sanctifying Grace is the quiet subtle presence of God stirring within us, challenging us in so many ways.

A kingdom of justice, love and peace. Jesus invites all people to himself, especially the poor and the marginalized. The Kingdom of God is for everyone, which is so different from our world, with its exclusions, racialism and rejections.

Each day we draw near to this greatest of all kings, who is at the same time our Lord and Saviour, we open up our lives to him in love and we enthrone him in our hearts. And this is the throne that he desires most of all.

We celebrate this feast in honour of Christ the King at the end of the Church’s year. We go out with a fanfare. We end the year with the vision of glory, and look beyond this earthly life to the celebration of Christ taking his rightful place on the throne of glory. All the Gospel reading over the last year lead up to this moment reminding us that where Christ is gone we too hope to follow. It is the ultimate fulfilment of the great act of creation itself.

Fr Kevin O'Shea C.M.