Homily for Christ the universal king B23 Nov 2018, by Sermons in
Today we celebrate the feast of Christ, the universal king, and this feast marks the end of the Church’s liturgical calendar. It is a celebration we can consider ancient and new. It is ancient because God did not become king in time, and it is new because the feast has a beginning. It is a new but significant feast in the Church. This feast was instituted about 93 years ago (1925) by Pope Pius xi in reaction to the growing threat of communism and secularism. These two sought to make man the king of the universe, the center of everything, and the most powerful force. So, the Pope instituted this feast to remind the world that Jesus the Son of God is the universal king, and before him, every knee must bow.
In our first reading, Daniel gazed into the visions of the night and saw on the cloud one like the son of man on whom was conferred sovereignty, glory, and kingship. Jesus referred to himself as the son of man (Mt. 11:19); he is the one in Daniel’s vision whose sovereignty is eternal. The angel Gabriel confirms this eternal sovereignty of Jesus Christ when he appeared to Mary and said to her; and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there will be no end (Lk. 1:31-33). He will reign forever in the Church and the life of every believer; he cannot be dethroned.
Jesus Christ is the universal king; he is the ruler of the earth’s kings, as John said in our second reading. John insists in our second reading that Jesus is the one who is coming on the clouds as Daniel saw in his vision; everyone will see him come in his glory. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all things. He was, he is, and he is to come. This is the truth, and this truth, we celebrate today that Jesus Christ is the king of kings.
In our gospel reading this morning, Pilate asked Jesus if he is the king of the Jews. He tried to reduce the kingship and authority of Jesus, for he is not just the king of the Jews but also the king of the universe. Pilate confused his identity; he wasn’t very sure of who Jesus is, just as some Christians are not sure of their faith. They wonder if Jesus is actually the king, and sometimes even doubt his power. When Pilate questioned Jesus about his kingship; Jesus asked him; is that your opinion of me, or what you heard other people say about me? I am more than what you think I am; I am more than what people say I am. For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways… For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
When Jesus talked about his kingdom and insisted that his kingdom is not of this world, Pilate was shocked and asked; So you are a king then? And without fear, Jesus said yes, I am a king, but my kingdom is not of this world. I know who I am, I know where I am from, and for this, I was born to defend the truth of who I am; the savior king of the universe. This fact is reflected in our responsorial Psalm this morning, that The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed; the Lord has robed himself with might, he has girded himself with power.
Jesus made it very clear that his kingdom is not of this world. In other words, there are other kingdoms. So, which of these kingdoms do you belong to? Who rules in your life? These are questions before us today as we celebrate the kingship of Jesus Christ.
This feast was instituted because communism and secularism were making man the king, relegating God’s power to the background. Today the case is not different; we live in a world where there are so many kingdoms, and so many kings and princesses. We live in a world where there are so many forms of powers, principalities, secret societies, and confraternities. Just as in Pope Pius xi’s days, they try to manipulate people into believing that all power belongs to them. Many have been deceived into these groups believing that they cannot become great unless they join these evil associations. Some have gone into all kinds of covenants with the devil; they have sold their souls to the devil in exchange for fame, power, influence, and wealth. They’ve handed themselves over to the devil to be used as agents of darkness and instruments of destruction. But the kingdom of God will overcome and reign forever.
Many are blessed beyond their imaginations and expectations without going into any form of a covenant with the devil; God still blesses his people. He is the king; apart from him, there is no other. Let us there joyfully and confidently proclaim him the universal king and give him the chance to rule in our lives, in our families, and in everything we are connected to. Amen.