HOMILY FOR 34TH SUNDAY HOMILY (YEAR C) SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
HOMILY Theme: The kingship of Jesus
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Reading through the History of the World and also looking around us, we definitely hear of and see different models of kingship or leadership. Some of these models sincerely and positively strife to better the wellbeing of their subjects, irrespective of their various levels of limitations, whereas others care less. On the contrary, God in Christ gave us the ultimate Model of Kingship or Leadership that must inspire every aspiration to royalty or leadership. Christ is the true King! Yes, He is the King of the Universe! May Jesus reign in our hearts and homes and communities and in every sphere of human endeavour; Amen.
Leadership remains one of the most ultimate and fundamental problems of humanity throughout History. On His part, God had always given us indications of how to properly lead and direct all those placed under our charge. On the part of men and women, there has always existed that tendency to desire to do it our own way without reference to God. This has always been the cause of many failures, frustrations, setbacks and of failed missions and unaccomplished projects. The face of the world today is not devoid of this systematic and organic failures and negative retrogression. This is very true in some of our families, societal and civic structures and communities, and regrettably sometimes even in the Holy Church of God. The Solemnity of today is not only a celebration of the Kingship or Lordship of Christ over the whole of Creation. It is also the definite indication to us of what it means to be a king or to be a leader over any given group. The First Reading (Daniel 7:13-14) gives us an apocalyptic, redemptive and eschatological description of the universal Kingship of the Son of Man; “on him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty.” That all nations constitute the noble company of His servant simply means that every created being in heaven and on earth are subject to Him (Phil 2:10) and under His rule. But this King is unique in all His ways, especially in His style of leading and guiding His subjects. His uniqueness lay in the fact that He serves all of His subjects. Only through His gracious and redemptive service towards them is He the Lord and Master of them all. Through the capacity to serve, in the true sense of the word, is Christ the true and distinctive King of the Universe. But also, it is because of this His unique identity as a Servant King is He not appealing to a reasonable number of persons. The rejection of the true Model of Leadership and Royalty remains one of the principal causes for which the world is the way it is today.
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The Christological Model of Leadership remains a challenge to every Christian and to all men and women of goodwill. Sharing in the royal identity of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism, the question remains: do we truly recognise the Model of Leadership which Christ left us as a veritable tool for the transformation of the world? In the Gospel Reading of today (John 18:33-37), Pilate was very ignorant of this Model for which he could not recognise Jesus as the King. In His replies, Jesus made it very clear the Model of Kingship or Leadership He came to establish on earth; “are you the king of the Jews?… Jesus replied… but my kingdom is not of this kind… I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” Jesus’ kind of Kingship is built on sacrifice and service. This is why it is forever valid and the ultimate process of redemption, liberation and salvation for all who believe and trust Him. We can never effect the positive changes that the world needs if we refuse to plug into the Christological pattern of Leadership. In many ways, we refuse this Model. But also, in many other ways, the handicaps we encounter during the process of leadership, at all levels, indicate to us that it is the only path to integral human flourishing. The Solemnity of Today is a clarion to call to all to return back to Christ the King, “He loves us and has washed away our sins with His blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve His God and Father; to Him then, be glory and power for ever and ever” (Rev 1:5-8). Only in Christ and with Christ is leadership possible, meaningful and fruitful. Only in Christ and with Christ can the world be a better place, sharing and participating in His Kingdom of truth, joy, justice and peace.
King of kings, may we open our hearts to the reign of Christ the King. May we learn from Him the true meaning of leadership. May we never be distracted by the lures of the kingdoms of this world, rather, may we be focused on the merits of Christ our Saviour and King; Amen. Happy Sunday.
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