The 20th Century began with the geometric rise of secularism and inattention to divine power and authority. World leaders were exerting so much power, and influence around the world and people started to see them as unique and indispensable forces to reckon. The 20th century turned out to be the most violent ever in human history. It produced and groomed imperialism, authoritarianism, colonialism, terrorism, Wars, materialism, religious apathy and the institution of various new age movements that favored the human person as having absolute control over the universe.
Considering the growing mundanity in the world and the pitiable inattention to God’s omnipotence, Pope Pius XI, on December 11, 1925, promulgated the Feast of Christ the King in the Encyclical Quas Prima. Among other motivations for the promulgation the Pope notes:
…these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord.
The celebration of Christ our Lord as the Universal King brings us to the point of deep reflection and appreciation of God’s might and authority which surpasses those of humans. It is an invitation to us to know that no king nor kingdom can endure apart from the kingship and kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we celebrate an unusual kingship that thrives on selfless service and exemplary humility. Most kings of this world were born in palaces adorned with precious ornaments but the king we are celebrating today was born among animals and in a manger (Luke 2:7). While the kings of this world lounge in cozy couches and sleep on adorable beds, Jesus Christ our Lord and King had nowhere to lay his head (Luke 9:58). The kings of this world have subjects under their subjugated service, but our King came to serve his subjects (Matt.20:28).
The Second Reading today (Col.1:12-20) gives us a deeper idea of what our Lord and King accomplishes for us spiritually. According to St.Paul, God transferred us from the power (kingdom) of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption and forgiveness of sin.
This statement discloses the highest point of the saving grace of our King. In fact, we cannot call him our King without this deliverance from the kingdom of darkness and transference into his marvellous light. He accomplished this for us in humility and obedience to the will of God the Father (Phil. 2: 6-8).
St. Paul tells us that our Lord and King is the firstborn of all creation. This statement further means that he is before all things, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers are under him. It is for this reason that Zecharia (14:9) calls him the King of all the earth and Isaiah says that his kingship shall never end (9:7).
The executioners at Calvary did not understand the manner of King our Lord is. For this reason, they mockingly tell him to save himself as he saved others if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God, the King of the Jews. They were expecting an outward manifestation of power while he was spiritually delivering humanity from the kingdom of darkness into his kingdom of light. He achieves this through his suffering (Isaiah 53:3-7), death, and resurrection (1 Cor.15:20).
It will be fitting for us to be more personal at this point. Do you believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe and the King of your life? We can give a suitable answer to this question only when we have figured out what or who is reigning in our lives.
In our world today, there are so many people who can do just anything to become wealthy, gain power or get some momentary satiation. Some of us have become slaves to the flesh, modern technology (social media), fellow human being and some habits. Are these ephemerals not kings and kingdoms in our lives? Check well before you proclaim Jesus the King of your life today!
As we match out today to proclaim Jesus as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, let us make sure that it is not merely a lip service (Matt. 15:8 see Isaiah 29:13). But a faith induced worship that would please him (John 4:24).
Have a great celebration of Christ the King and may he continue to reign in our lives throughout the coming week.