Homily for the Feast of Christ the King
Theme: Our King is not violent yet all violent thrones, dominions and authorities belong to him and they obey him without choice.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf.
Homily for Sunday November 24 2019
READING: 2 Samuel 5: 1-3, Ps 122, Col. 1: 12-20, Luke 23: 35-43
A king can be chosen by popular vote or acclamation. Some kings are inherited and some are self made who wield power. There are also some kings who are made or chosen by the highest King of that land and whose authority come from the big king and no one has right to reject him or challenge him. This I believe is the type of King that Jesus Christ is. He did not impose himself on the universe and was not made so by popular acclamation because when they wanted to make him a king he rejected it and fled. He is a King made by the highest King God the Father and so when the soldiers asked him: Are you a King? He responded by saying: It is for this purpose I came to the world. And to test whether he is truly a king they asked him: If you are a king of the Jews save yourself. In the same manner one of the criminals crucified with him told him: Save yourself and save us. This is because they know that Kings wield strong powers over all the subjects of the land and have warriors and soldiers who defend the integrity of their kingdoms and who take instructions from them and defend their life at all cost. The thief expected a reprisal attack from Jesus’ soldiers if he was truly a king so that war would issue on the land and souls would be lost on his account. This is a plan to make him a violent tyrant and a dictator. All these Jesus resisted and proved that he is a king of Peace who has come to save the lives of his subjects and offer himself as a ransom for many in order to save the scattered children of Israel. This is the real meaning of the prophetic words of Caiaphas that it is better for one man to die than for many to perish. At this juncture it is important to ask ourselves: Who is a king and what does a king do? We shall answer this from the experience of the kings we have in our towns and communities.
A king is the sovereign head of a town or community. He is the number one citizen who has the right to issue order and decrees for the good of the subjects. He is the authority who decides what happens in the community and adjudicates their matter. He is the spokes person of the people and defender of the rights of the people. He has authority over the riches and natural endowments of the land. In most places, he has right to take the best portion of the land, the most beautiful woman, the biggest farm produce and must be obeyed and served by all the subjects. In many places, no one challenges his order if not he risks excommunication and be ostracized. He is the one that all subjects fear and who has right to summon anybody and decide people’s fate according to what he feels or what he has heard about him. The human kings do more than these. (See the conditions of kingship of Saul for the Israelites). Many of them put us in bondage and dictate what we must do and we obey them. All these kings of the world are under the authority of the highest king who we have gathered today to proclaim as the universal King. People and forces may object to his kingship yet their objections make no meaning because he decides the affairs of the universe both for believers in him and unbelievers. He is a King who is made by the nature of his being and not disputable. No king of the world, power or sovereignty can question him or speak in his presence and see the next minute alive.
Beloved, his kingship is different from what the kings of the world are and do. He is the only King who sacrifices himself for the good of his subjects. The only King who serves his subjects and teaches us to follow suit. He is the only King who neglects his own needs and provides first the needs of his subjects. He is the only King who makes himself food for the subjects. He is the only King who does not demand sacrifice of his subjects but sacrifices himself as victim for them. The King we proclaim today is a King who is of justice, love and peace and these are found in his kingdom. He is the King who forgives and neglects grave sins and offenses against him and who rather pleads for reconciliation from those who offended him. He is the King who pays his enemies with love, compassion and providence and allows his blessings to come both to those who love him and do his will and to those who hate him and disobey him. He is the only King who pays the debts of his subjects and forgives them of the debts that they cannot pay. What a wonderful unique King never seen before and never shall be seen in human history. He is the King who selected David as seen in the first reading to be a king for his people Israel. He is the king who deposes arrogant and disobedient kings and chooses a king after his own heart.
Beloved in Christ, we cannot finish talking about the type of King we have. He is not like the kings and rulers of the world who choose themselves and force themselves upon us and then marginalize and treat us wickedly. He is not a political king and ruler who deceives the people like the Presidents and Governors. He is not the king and ruler that condones evil and keeps quiet at heinous crimes unleashed to their subjects. He is not like the world kings and leaders who are insensitive to the needs and cries and hunger and hardship of their subjects and keeps quiet at wrongs and evils committed. He will not behave like Governors and President who force their choice of candidates on their political parties and the entire states and nation just to be in the majority. He does not like rulers in Nigeria who by impunity destroy electoral laws, share our national money to buy votes and use the judiciary to cover up. King Jesus will show mercy and compassion and consolation. In cases of injustice King Jesus would upturn the injustice and set the innocent free and would protect the lives and property of the citizens instead of sitting in his comfort zones silently. He will not send lying ministers to deceive the nation and lie to cover up evil against the people. His minister of information would not be a celebrated liar.
My beloved, we have today to give thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light for delivering us from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved Son. We are by accepting his kingship delivered from the dominion and kingdom of darkness of earthly kings and satanic spiritual dominations.
May the grace of this King lead us to accept the rule of his kingdom in our lives; may we become obedient to the rule of his kingdom by living in justice, love and peace which we shall enjoy fully when we get there. Let us rejoice in doing his will so as to joyfully enter into his house, Amen. Peace be with you all and happy celebration.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf.