Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Solemnity ~ 20 November 2022 ~ Bible Readings for Mass: I: II Samuel 5:1-3; Responsorial: Psalm 122; II: Colossians 1:12-20; Gospel: Luke 23: 35- 43
Jesus Christ ~ King of Kings
Long ago there was a garden. The beauty, life, and joy could not be fully expressed in words. There was no need or sorrow for death, violence, anger or greed did not exist. Peace and contentment flowed in an abundance beyond measure. Innocence and the freedom of simplicity had established an order of care and stewardship that nourished life in abundance. This was the garden of God, the garden of the heavenly King and Creator. And it was good. Until.
It was good until the fallen angel, the enemy of God came and brought the seeds of envy, hate, and doubt that would be sown in the hearts of the two people, our spiritual parents. This would bring their expulsion from the garden. It would result in the beginning of immense suffering and sorrow for all creation. Sin would infect and prevail among those God had made, in love, in his image. And the enemy of God, the devil rejoiced. For he thought he had won. The prince was sure he had conquered the King.
Millenia later there was a young man who had been chosen by God to reign and lead his chosen Hebrew people. The young man, David, while called by God had experienced countless trials and tests as he sought to follow the Shepherd of his soul, his Lord. The old enemy, harboring intense anger in the stubborn refusal of God to surrender his throne, had used demons of jealousy and hate to try and destroy this young man. But faith in God prevailed. David was anointed, king. And even more. He was promised a son of his that would one day reign forever as the Lord, the King of Kings. This King would rule from a heavenly city, Jerusalem, from the house of the Lord.
It would be in that city of God that this King of Kings would come, victorious, riding on the colt of an ass. Yet again and in the evilest and dark of ways fallen angel deceived and led this King, Jesus, to be betrayed, condemned, and crucified. As the nails were pounded into the hands and feet of God’s only Son the evil one was ecstatic! The harsh clang of hammer and nail was, to the evil ears a cacophony of delight. What had begun in a garden so long ago was going to be finished. Here and now! As Jesus was dying on the cross the hate-filled taunts of those who served the prince of lies resounded with the cries of the men on their crosses. Satan smirked when he heard one of the thieves call out to Jesus to remember him when he came into his Kingdom. The evil one shook his head with arrogant joy as he thought of the kingdom the tomb would hold for Jesus. So great was his pride he never heard the promise of God that on that very day he would be with him in paradise. All seemed so settled in the heart of darkness when Jesus uttered his final words. “It is finished.”
It is over two thousand years later. The battles of good and evil, sin and salvation seem more intense than ever. Wars and rumors of wars, great destructive pandemics, storms, and strife of every description seem to prevail. The cruel reality of the powers of darkness cannot be denied. To trust in God, to hear and believe the promises and power of the King of Kings, Jesus the Christ is a quest of heart-rending difficulty for many. And, once again, the evil one smiles with the sense, the darkest of hopes, that God has failed. And he would be correct. Except for God.
“Brothers and sisters: Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:12
The great celebration of Christ the King comes at a point of time every year that offers us eternal hope. As it was. in the Garden, as it was with the reign of King David, as it was on Calvery with Jesus The King and as it is now… Jesus Christ, our God, reigns! Infinite are the lessons we could explore about Jesus our heavenly King. Yet one is always and especially relevant now. Jesus the King reigns, yesterday, tomorrow, and even today.
Jesus Reigns, over the past. Whether we fear the reality of the original sin we have inherited from our early parents or whether we struggle with questions and perhaps the guilt of matters past we must remember. Jesus is Lord. On the cross, he won and brought us forgiveness and peace. Prayerfully we must seek and allow the Spirit of God to search the dusty memories and fears of the past and bring them under the shed blood and healing mercy of our King, our Savior, our God who reigns. And freed from the past we can better learn that worries of the future are not what God our King has provided for us.
Christ Reigns, over the future. Great are the very real concerns of what may happen tomorrow. But, when we are honest we must admit we simply don’t know all the future will or may bring. Indeed there will likely be struggles, sorrows uncertainties. We will each be called by God to cross the threshold of eternity. But if our faith is in Christ our Savior, our King great is the holy hope and promises of our eternal home in God’s mercy. So whether it be uncertainty about a job, an health matter or eternity may we remember Jesus, our Lord reigns!
Jesus, Reigns…Today. Real are the tangled webs of the past that would seek to trap and hinder us from following God. Today. Piercing can be the siren cries from the future that would seek to draw us in worry and anxiety upon the rocks of the future upon the shoals of what may, or may not ever happen. Christ our King calls us to trust, follow, and love Him today! It is in the eternal freedom of the cross that the Holy Spirit brings us to dwell, to practice the very real Presence of God in the midst of our day. Today. With the family, at work, during Mass, whatever moment we are in is a moment where Jesus would have us know He is in control. Perhaps we, our life may not be. God is still there and will lead us through whatever storm or blessing we are in.
To realize this great grace and provision of God has infinite and eternal possibilities. But to experience this, to experience more fully, Christ our King we need only to pray and trust..”Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.