HOMILY FOR SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING (YEAR A)
THEME: King of the Universe
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
We are a royal people bound together in the one Kingdom of God. In His eternal plan for the salvation of all, God anointed His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ as the King of the Universe. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the reign and spread of this Kingdom continue through all generations by the cooperation, good work and goodwill of the royal people who are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb and who look forward to the full manifestation of God’s kingdom at the end of time. When Christ comes at the end of time, may we reign with Him forever; Amen.
The Church annually concludes the Liturgical Year with the Solemnity of Christ the King. This liturgical organization is not only to remind us of the true identity of our Saviour Jesus Christ but also to draw our attention to the fact that we are the royal members of God’s Kingdom and that all we do as believers is geared towards establishing us as perennial members of this Kingdom at the end of time. The Kingdom of God has a deep eschatological undertone. This Kingdom, though already subtly manifest in our midst at the present, will be fully manifest at the end of time. One of the fundamental things that keep us going as Christians is our hope in the eschatological manifestation of this Kingdom at the fullness of time. It is impossible to speak of this Kingdom without speaking of its King. Christ is properly identified as the King of the Universe because He is truly God and truly Man and on His shoulders has been reposed the governance of this world; all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Mt 28:18) and “dominion has been laid on His shoulders” (Is 9:6). For this, Jesus Christ is liturgically and publicly pronounced King today so that the whole world may acknowledge Him as such and may accord Him the honour and worship that is His due. His is not the type of king that is aloof from those he governs. On the contrary, He knows them, He caters for them and He remains always in their midst to lead them along the path of righteousness. On the one hand, speaking through the prophet Ezekiel in the First Reading (Ez 34:11-12, 15-17), God made it clear the type of King He is; the type of King that is personified in our Lord Jesus Christ; “I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest. It is the Lord who speaks… I shall be a true shepherd to them.” On the other hand, He is also the King who judges and rewards. His judgement and rewards are informed by love, justice and mercy. His judgement and rewards are based on merits; “I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.”
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God’s judgement of His subjects in Christ Jesus at the end will be based on each individual’s response to His rules and ordinances; because the kingdom of God is not a disordered entity. It is a Kingdom that is absolutely ordered and guided by rules and norms. The paramount rule of God’s kingdom is love. This rule flows from the very nature of God “because God is love” (I Jn 4:8). This rule is one of the essential elements that define the Kingdom of God and also one of the vital components that define the life and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Church is inspired by this same love in the exercise of her mission in the world in spreading the reign of God’s Kingdom. We do not mean love as an ideological or utopic conceptualization; but the love that is inspired by God, oriented towards God and put into practice in our relationship with one another. Love is the password and the access code of entrance into the Kingdom of Christ. Whoever loves professes the Kingship of Christ and sincerely awaits the coming of His Kingdom. This was at the background of Jesus’ message to His disciples in the Gospel Reading of today (Mt 25:31-46); “come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the Kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world… I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” The resurrection of the body and the live of the world to come are fruits of the manifestation of God’s love and of our personal and collective response to God’s love with love. They are part of the proper rewards for those who loved with everything and allowed love to lead as Christ the King did. Since they loved like Christ the King, they shall also receive the merits of Christ’s live and mission, such that “as all men and women die in Adam, so all men and women will be brought to life in Christ” (I Cor 15:20-26, 28). To love is to live, not just in this life but also in the life to come.
Christ, the Eternal King of the whole universe, help us by Your grace to love always as You loved, in words and in deeds, so that we may be made worthy to become members of Your eternal Kingdom; Amen. Happy Solemnity of Christ the King;
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