Solemnity of Christ the King
2 Sm.5:1-3; Col. 1:12-20; Lk. 23:35-43
Jesus is King because he is Son of God. Because he is Creator: “through him all things were made” (Jn 1:3). In the Book of Psalms, God is King because he rules over the whole of creation. At the Annunciation the Angel Gabriel said to Mary: “The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:32-33). Before Pilate Jesus says: “My kingdom does not belong to this world…as it is, my kingdom is not here” (Jn 18:36). Jesus is also king by conquest, because by his Passion, Death and Resurrection, he conquered sin, satan, and death. An inscription was put over his head on the cross: “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” The Good Thief also acknowledged him as King when he said: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42). St. Paul told the Colossians: “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins” (Col.1:13-14).
That Jesus is king is clear from the Scriptures. But is it clear that Jesus is king of my life, of my family? By 1948 when I became conscious of activities in our parish, I saw in every Catholic house the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the altar seated on his throne as king and the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary stood beside him. Then each night after the Rosary, the family would recite the consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In high school when I was already sacristan, I would accompany the parish priest to enthrone the Sacred Heart in the homes of new comers into the parish and the frame of the Immaculate Heart always stood beside him. Each home had copies of the booklet of this consecration because they would pray it every night after the family rosary. When my uncle became parish priest of Pamplona, Negros Oriental, I saw the same thing happening; I accompanied him in many enthronement rites. My home town is poor, without any business establishment. And yet I can recall that 15 became priests, of which 5 have already died and 10 remain alive, all blood relatives. Some boys became religious brothers. There were also many female relatives who became religious, missionary sisters and even contemplative nuns. When Jesus is King of our family, we surrender to him every aspect of our life and many beautiful things happen. We become faithful to the sacraments from Baptism through Marriage, including the Holy Orders. Peace and harmony exist, love and concern for each other rule our life. When problems arise, love and forgiveness prevail. Let us not allow the worldly spirit to govern our lives. Rather let Jesus be the king of our families and our homes. The worldly spirit was visible in those who ridiculed Jesus on the Cross. “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” And “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” So too the bad thief said, “Are you not the Christ, save yourself and us.” But the Good Thief acknowledged his sin and affirmed the righteousness of Jesus, “…the sentence we received corresponds to our crime, but this man has done nothing criminal.” To obtain forgiveness we must first acknowledge our sinfulness; only then can we ask the Lord to accept us: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus, who is all love for the sinner, readily grants forgiveness: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Jesus, our King, loves us and offered himself for us even when we were still sinners. He always welcomes every sinner who repents.