In a certain kingdom, kings are appointed to rule for just a year, and they are sent to an Island to stay there for the rest of their lives. Soon it was the end of the rulership of the sitting king, and as the ceremony of departure demands, he makes a tour of the kingdom riding on an elephant and bidding the subjects good-bye with a heavy heart as the kindship was coming to an end.
After marching throughout the kingdom, the king-makers set out to return the king to the Island. On their way back, they met a young man who bravely escaped death from a shipwreck that killed all the passengers and crew. Attracted by his exceptional strength, the king-makers begged him to come along with them to their kingdom to become their king. However, they did not fail to tell him that he would rule for one year after which they would send him to the Island. He agreed!
Two weeks after his coronation, the new king decided to visit the Island without the knowledge of the king-makers. When he arrived with his guards, he discovered that the place was infested with wildlife as wild animals successively killed all the past kings. In the following months, the king set out to clean up the whole Island and to build beautiful palaces using workers from another kingdom. Before long, the Island became a beautiful kingdom.
When the tenure of the king expired, he asked the king-makers for one favor, namely, to allow him to return to the Island by himself while they look for another king and they agreed, and he leaves for his new Kingdom with his guards. His plan was to reign as much as he wanted but after a few years he contacted a strange sickness and passed, and his kingdom crumbled!
Today, the Church celebrates the universal and eternal kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Beyond mere presumption, the sovereignty of Jesus Christ has roots in some divine oracles in the Old Testament. In the First Reading (Dan. 7:13-14), the prophet Daniel tells us about his vision concerning the Son of Man receiving an everlasting dominion and kingship from the Ancient One. There is no doubt here that the Son of Man refers to our Lord Jesus Christ who used the same designation for himself about eighty-two times in the entire Bible.
The Gospel Reading (John 18:33b-37), tells us about the kingship dialogue between our Lord Jesus Christ and Pilate before the latter condemned our Lord to death. In the dialogue, Pilate declared our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the Jews and our Lord confirms this kingship as his birthright while also establishing that his kingdom transcends this world, that means it is beyond the Jews and the Jewish landscape.
This reflection would not waste words trying to prove the kingship of Jesus Christ because it is not an issue for empirical verification but an act of faith. The history of the world is replete with stories and descriptions of kings, kingships, and kingdoms. One common denominator about all these stories and reports is that kings and kingdoms rise and fall at some historic moments and the ones that are still standing are destined to decline with time.
Becoming Children of the King and His Kingdom
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev.19:16), and those who follow him are by implication the children of the King. St. Peter (1 Pet. 2:9) adds that we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, set apart that we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. St. Paul further instructs that as sons (and daughters), God sent Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So, we are no longer slaves, but sons (and daughters), and therefore, heirs through God (Gal. 4:6-7).
Everywhere in the world, it is not difficult to identify the children of a King because they appear with all the details of royalty. As children of the universal King, our royalty is not carnal. Our royalty is rather divine and shows itself in our faith and right doings. The children of the King of the universe do not conform to this world but are transformed by the renewing of their mind that they may prove what is right and acceptable and the will of God (Romans 12:2).
We cannot answer the children of the King while living as slaves through attachment to things that are offensive to the King. We cannot be the children of the King while making ourselves subjects to smaller kings and their kingdoms. There is a need for us to state clearly who or what stands as the king of our lives.
To whom do you pay homage? In other words, what takes your attention, time, and energy every day? Your answer discloses the identity of your king and kingdom you belong. Somewhere in the Gospels (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13), our Lord Jesus Christ instructs that no one can serve two masters, it is either he hates one and loves the other or be devoted to one or despise the other. Our Lord’s instruction is very relevant to us today as most of us vacillate from one king to the other and from our kingdom to the other.
The liturgy of the feast of Christ the King invites us to give our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lord, our full and undivided focus and attention. To achieve this, we need to flip our minds from our attachment to mundane concerns and fleeting pleasures that distract and dissuade us from God. Finally, may we allow Jesus Christ our Lord and King to reign constantly and consistently in our lives.
Have a joyful celebration of Christ the King and may the coming week open doors of blessings for you!