Christ The King, Year C
Theme of the week: Let us approach Jesus our Anointed King, with a contrite heart, to seek redemption and forgiveness.
In ancient times, kings rule over the people. In our modern times however, any monarchy that remains are largely reduced to ceremonial roles. In the place of kings, other rulers preside over the people – presidents, prime ministers, CEOs, chairpersons of company boards, etc. Whether it is ancient or modern lordship, what is our impression of kings? Do we look up to those in authority; or do we look at them with disdain? What about Jesus the King? Is he my king? Does what he says and teaches affect my everyday life? Or perhaps, outside the walls of the church and its religious ceremonies, Jesus does not have a real impact on my life? If I am really honest with myself, just like the modern monarchy, have I reduced Jesus to largely a ceremonial role?
At the time of the First Reading, David was already the king of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who formed the Southern Kingdom of Judah. In the passage, “all the tribes of Israel” (verse 1), referring to the remaining ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, came to anoint David as the king. Henceforth, David became the anointed king of a united people. The people of God are no longer divided between the north and south, but are now one people of God. As the people “anointed David king over Israel” (verse 3), the authority of kingship rest with David, the anointed one. In times to come, the Jewish people came to expect a King to be borne from the line of David – which shall be the Anointed One. The “Anointed One” translates to Messiah in Hebrew, Christo in Greek, or Christ in English. Jesus the King is the fulfillment of that prophecy. He is Son of David; the Anointed One, the Christ.
Even though all signs points to Jesus being the promised Heavenly King, the people did not accept him. To them, Jesus’ kingship is something insignificant, even something to be mocked at. The Gospel tells of a scene at Christ’s crucifixion. As an indication of his “crime”, Jesus’ persecutors inscribed above him the words “This is the King of the Jews”. That’s right, Jesus’ kingship has become an accusation, something the people disdained. And what an unconventional King he was, subjecting himself to such great humiliation and sufferings at the hands of his subjects!
So, we ask ourselves again: Is Jesus my king? By the way I treat others; the way I forgive those who offended me; help those who do harm to me; stand up for the vulnerable, the sick and the unborn, can I truly say that what Jesus says and teaches affect my everyday life? Or perhaps, outside of the religious ceremonies, Jesus’ kingship is something I am ashamed of. If so, Jesus is no more than a ceremonial king to me.
By my actions and beliefs, if I have been less than a faithful follower of Jesus the King, let me take this opportunity to reflect upon the Gospel this week. By his suffering on the cross, Jesus took our failures upon himself. And as Paul explained in the Second Reading, Jesus earned us redemption and forgiveness of sins (verse 14). And if we truly accept Jesus as our King, a share of the King’s inheritance awaits us (verse 12)! Think about it, what other earthly rulers – presidents, prime ministers, CEOs – would share their kingships with the people?
Let us follow the example of the Good Thief in the Gospel, for the times we failed Jesus and the times we fail a brother or sister. Let us approach the King with a contrite heart and say, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Lk 23:42) Amen.