Friday, November 23, 2007

Sunday, November 23, 2007 ~ Solemnity of Christ the King

Luke 23: 35-43

And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews." One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."


We imagine kings to be all-powerful rulers. We imagine them to be both wise and amiable in protecting their people and their kingdoms. We imagine they live in grand palaces or castles and receive the "royal treatment" from countless servants and aides. Christ the King, in the Gospel reading today, seems so different that the stereotypical king. But, is He really that different?

He is all-powerful. He is wise and amiable in His Divine Mercy. His only goal is to save us all from eternal damnation. His home is Heaven where angels and saints worship him day and night. The difference is that this King was also humble - humble enough to walk out of his castle and into the streets - humble enough to suffer severely to save His people and build His kingdom.

The kings we imagine, the existing leaders of our lands, are they humble enough to do what it takes? Do we imagine the ideal king to be both powerful AND humble? Are we grateful when they take sacrifices and risks to save and protect their people, even at the expense of their own reputations (and even when we disagree with their actions)?

Do I view Christ as my King? Do I realize that there is no disconnect between His Kingship and His Passion? They are integrated and necessary. How can I alter my view of Christ to worship Him as my King? Do I fall down at His feet and observe ceremonial rules in greeting Him? Do I serve and praise Him as my King? Is He the only King of my heart?

This is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. With Advent only one week away, the Church in her wisdom, urges us to look upon our Savior as royalty. She knows we will soon reflect on His birth, another instance of Christ the King's humility; therefore, we need to be reminded of His supremacy. For even in the form of a tiny babe, even bleeding and beaten to near death on the cross, Christ is the King. Christ is my King. Is He yours?