Fr. Mike’s Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King Year B (3)

Fr. Mike’s Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King Year B

Theme: Render Obedience to our King

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


Homily for Sunday November 21 2021
Jn 18:33b-37

The song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra is still one of the most popular songs today. But people are warned that this song can be dangerous. Many violent incidents especially in videoke bars erupted due to competition and rivalry among drunken patrons who all prefer to sing this song. Perhaps one reason for this is the spirit of pride behind its lyrics. In a nutshell, it says that now as “I face the final curtain”, I look back at my life. Though I had some mistakes and regrets, I am proud, “I stood tall” for “I did it my way.”

The people of Israel had a painful and tragic lesson on doing it ‘my way’. From the beginning, in the covenant with Abraham, Yahweh was the King of the Chosen People. He was faithful to His promise in the covenant with His people. He gave them their land, their freedom and He provided for all their needs. He defended them from all their enemies. But these people were not contented. They wanted a human king, just like their neighbors. In effect, they were rejecting Yahweh as their king. Nevertheless, they still got what they wanted. That was when troubles began. The first king was Saul, who was too ambitious and hungry for power. Very soon his crown was taken away by God. David replaced him. He was good king at the start, but later became an adulterer and murderer. His son, Solomon, had many wives and concubines, most of them pagans, who lured him to worship pagan idols. The succeeding kings proved to be disobedient, immoral, murderers and idolaters: “[They] did evil in the sight of the Lord” (Jer 52:2). The people rejected Yahweh because they wanted their own king. They did it their way, going against God’s way. And this resulted in their untold sufferings and misery.

This is what is going on in the world now. There is so much trouble and sufferings because people are just too proud, greedy, and selfish that they are unwilling to follow God’s laws. They just insist on their ambitions and selfish desires, by hook or by crook. Doing it “My Way” is the norm for many people – even if it offends and hurts others. God is consciously ignored and rejected. We see many countries legalizing the very acts that God explicitly forbids: divorce, abortion, same-sex marriages, euthanasia or assisted suicide, and even attempting to remove the name and all sacred symbols of God from schools and other public places.

This is not only disobedience, but also a direct rejection of God. We all know the dire consequences of such behavior and actions. We are headed to self-annihilation. Disobeying God’s commandments is sin, and according to St. Paul, sin leads to death (cf. Rom 6:16). That is why, when Peter and the apostles were forbidden by the Sanhedrin to speak about the name of Jesus, they responded with firm conviction: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

This Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. In the Gospel, Jesus told Pilate that the sole purpose of His coming into the world was “to testify to the truth.” One such basic and most important truth is that God is King. He is the only King of the entire universe. Psalm 47:8 said: “God is king over all the earth.” In this celebration, therefore, like the Israelites, we are being reminded that God is our only King. And the painful lesson of the Chosen People serves as a warning to us: doing it our way, against God’s way, will surely have tragic and fatal consequences.

The choice is ours to make. We can have it our way. God will not prevent us from exercising our free choice. But we must be ready to face the devastating consequences: death and eternal damnation. Or we can have it God’s way, by faithfully obeying His will, which, according to St. Paul, leads to righteousness and salvation (Rom. 6:16). Jesus Christ is our true and only King. He demands obedience from us so that we may have the fullness of life and salvation. He has only one commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34). And this commandment has only one expression: “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for the many” (Mk 10:45). Love and service: these are the marks of the true followers of Jesus and members of His eternal and glorious kingdom.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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