Christ the King, Year C
2 Sm 5:1-3; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43
As Christian Catholics, we have double citizenship: citizens of our homeland and citizens of the kingdom of heaven. As citizens of God’s kingdom, God has made us: a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart as the Preface of the Feast of Christ the king points out.
Today with the universal Church, we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. When Pilate asked Jesus, whether he was the king of the Jews, Jesus answered that was Pilate’s idea. Pilate must have understood that Jesus’ response meant he denied the title of king of the Jews.
However, Pilate still allowed the inscription on the cross of Jesus: This is the King of the Jews (Lk 23:38). Actually, the inscription placed on the cross was a miscalculation by Pilate because the high priests of the Jews did not want Jesus to be their king. Jesus himself did not want the title: King of the Jews either. Having witnessed the multiplication of bread, the people wanted to make him king. As for Jesus, he did not want to have anything to do with a secular kingdom. So where is his kingdom? According to the gospel of John, Jesus responded to Pilate: My kingdom does not belong to this world (Ga 18:36). Standing by the cross of Jesus, was a repented criminal who repented of what he had done and lamented for Jesus.
He received the gift of fear of the Lord and believed in the everlasting life. Realizing Jesus was the Son of God and the king of the universe, he asked Jesus: Remember me when you enter upon your reign (Lk 23:42). With his word, the repented criminal proclaimed the kingdom of Christ and accepted his sovereignty. With this belief, Jesus promised him: I assure you: this day you will be with me in paradise (Lk 23:43). The Church instituted the feast of Christ the King in order to call upon humankind to acknowledge Christ’s sovereignty over our lives and our family.
Today we need to ask ourselves whether we have accepted God’s sovereignty. Have we allowed God to control our hearts and our lives yet? Have we proclaimed and spread his kingdom? To accept God’s kingdom seems to be easy. However, to allow God to be our king and our sovereignty is another story. What does it mean to allow Jesus to be our king and sovereign? That means allowing God to be in control of our thoughts, words, desires and actions. Allowing God to be in control of our lives should help us cope with words and actions of others that offend us. Allowing God to be in control of our lives should help us to accept things, which we do not like and yet we cannot change them.
Allowing God to be in control should help us to do things and/or to accept things for the love of God and for the salvation of souls including our souls. To bring the idea of love for God and atonement for sins to acceptance of words and deeds against our wishes, can make things easier for us to bear. When we are angry with things happened in our lives and in the world, it would mean we do not want God to be in control. To allow God to be in control would be easy when we are successful.
When things did not go along with our way or our plan, either we resent God, or we surrender our will to God’s will. When we surrender our will and our way to God’s will and his way, then we can say we allow God to be in control. Some people think if they allow God to be in control, they will lose their freedom. Those who have lived according to the way of the Lord and his will, must have had experience of how to be free as God’s children. That freedom is a peace of mind. At present, who is in control of our lives and our hearts? Is it God in control or have we let money, fame, pleasure, possessions to be in control?
Prayer asking God to be in control:
Oh! Lord our God! You hold my destiny in your hands.
We are dependent on you in all things.
If there is any area of my life, where you are not in control
I invite you to come and set up your kingship
and sovereignty over my life.
Be the the Lord of my life and king of my heart.
Help me to remove obstacle from my life
as to allow you to enter into my life
and your power to transform my being. Amen.
John Tran Binh Trong