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Homily for the feast of Christ the universal king ( year C )

18 Nov 2016, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sermons

christ-the-king1Today 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 beginning. It is a new but very important feast in the Church. This feast was instituted about 91 years ago (1925) by Pope Pius XI in reaction to communism and secularism’s growing threat. 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 this morning, we see the people, all the tribes of Israel, come to King David at Hebron and declared their loyalty to him. God chose David to take over from King Saul, the first king of Israel whose lineage was denied of royalty because he disobeyed God’s laws. David was chosen in his place and was secretly anointed by Samuel in Bethlehem; King Saul became angry and vowed to kill David. David had to run away from Saul; he went and dwelt at Hebron, reigned as the king of Judah. After the death of Saul, while David was still at Hebron, all the tribes of Israel, including the northern part, came to him at Hebron and declared their loyalty to him; Look, they said we are your own flesh and blood. In days past, when Saul was our king, you led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, You are the man who shall be the shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.  The people had to decide to accept David as their king; it, therefore, matters who you accept as your king.

Jesus Christ is the universal king; he is the ruler of the kings of the earth, he is the Alpha and the Omega, he is the image of the unseen God, he is the firstborn of all creation and therefore; Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers-all things were created through him and for him. 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. As individuals, we have to decide if Christ Jesus is the king of our lives; the northern kingdom of Israel decided to accept David as their king, they acknowledged God’s hand upon him. They recognized that even when Saul reigned as king, David led Israel in all their exploits; he conquered Goliath and drove away from the Philistine. The power of God was at work in him; they saw in him an anointed king and decided to accept him as their king. The question this morning is; who are you accepting as your king?

This feast we celebrate today, the feast of Christ, the universal king, was instituted because communism and secularism were making man the king, relegating God’s power to the background. In our world today, the case is not different; there is no doubt that we live in a world where there are so many kingdoms, so many kings and princesses. We live in a world where there are so many kinds of powers, principalities, secret societies, and confraternities. We live in a world where people now create kings for themselves, a world where mere flesh wants to reign above God, Just as in Pope Pius XI days. These are negative forces, and they try to manipulate us into believing that all powers belong to them. Many have been deceived into these groups believing that they cannot make it unless they join them. They have deceived so many people 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 have handed themselves over to the devil to be used as instruments of destruction, agents of darkness. But the kingdom of God will overcome.

You must not belong to any evil kingdom to be blessed. Many people today are blessed beyond their imaginations and expectations without belonging to any secret cult; you must not surrender to the kingdom of darkness to be famous or rich. Jesus says, let those on the side of truth listen to his voice. He is the king; apart from him, there is no other. Let us, therefore, 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. He is the king of the Jews; he is the king of heaven and earth. The evangelists; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all agreed that when Jesus was crucified, there was an inscription written on the upper arm of his cross, “king of the Jews.” But today, we declare him not only as of the king of the Jews but the universal king. Let us see in him the anointed one, just like all the tribes of Israel saw in David the anointing of God. David was anointed king over Israel, but Jesus is anointed king of the Universe, the redeemer of the world. A king who was crucified, who was laughed at and humiliated. Jesus is the universal king who laid down his life for his subjects and rose the third day, he is the king who ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he is the king who will judge the living and the dead.

The Church’s celebration today is a great one; our celebration today involves a public procession of praise to declare Jesus Christ, the universal king. Let those on the side of truth in faith join in this great procession. Like one of the thieves crucified with him on the cross, let us call on him to remember us in his kingdom. Let us proclaim to the world that Jesus is King, and may we let him reign in our lives forever and ever.

  • Fortunatus Ihedioha Reply

    Fr., I wish you more grace. Your blog has been an inspiration to me. You are a blessing to me. Remain blessed.