Sunday, November 20, 2022
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe—Solemnity
Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, B, C)
Happy Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! This is the last Sunday of the Church year which means we focus on the final and glorious things to come! It also means that next Sunday is already the First Sunday of Advent.
When we say Jesus is a king, we mean a few things. First, He is our Shepherd. As our Shepherd He desires to lead us personally as a loving father would. He wants to enter our lives personally, intimately and carefully, never imposing Himself but always offering Himself as our guide. The difficulty with this is that it’s very easy for us to reject this kind of kingship. As King, Jesus desires to lead every aspect of our lives and lead us in all things. He desires to become the absolute ruler and monarch of our souls. He wants us to come to Him for everything and to become dependent upon Him always. But He will not impose this sort of kingship upon us. We must accept it freely and without reservation. Jesus will only govern our lives if we freely surrender ourselves over. When that happens, though, His Kingdom begins to become established within us! And through us in the world.
Additionally, Jesus does wish for His Kingdom to begin to be established in our world. First and foremost this takes place when we become His sheep and thus become His instruments to help convert the world. However, as King, He also calls us to establish His Kingship by seeing to it that His truth and law is respected within civil society. It’s Christ’s authority as King that gives us the authority and duty as Christians to do all we can to fight civil injustices and bring about a respect for every human person. All civil law ultimately gains its authority from Christ alone since He is the one and only Universal King.
But many do not recognize Him as King, so what about them? Should we “impose” God’s law upon those who do not believe? The answer is both yes and no. First, there are some things we cannot impose. For example, we cannot force people to go to Mass each Sunday. This would hinder one’s freedom to enter into this precious gift. We know Jesus requires it of us for the good of our souls, but it must still be embraced freely. However, there are some things that we must “impose” upon others. The protection of the unborn, poor and vulnerable must be “imposed.” The freedom of conscience must be written into our laws. The freedom to practice our faith openly (religious liberty) within any institution must be “imposed” also. And there are many other things we could list here. What’s important to point out is that, at the end of all time, Jesus will be returning to Earth in all His glory and He will then establish His permanent and unending Kingdom. At that time, all people will see God as He is. And His law will become one with “civil” law. Every knee will bend before the great King and all will know the truth. At that time, true justice will reign and every evil will be corrected. What a glorious day that will be!
Reflect, today, upon your own embrace of Christ as King. Does He truly govern your life in every way? Do you allow Him to have complete control over your life? When this is done freely and completely, the Kingdom of God is established in your life. Let Him reign so that you can be converted and, through you, others can come to know Him as Lord of all!
Most solemn Lord, You are the sovereign King of the Universe. You are the Lord of all. Come reign in my life and make my soul Your holy dwelling place. Lord, come transform our world and make it a place of true peace and justice. May Your Kingdom come! Jesus, I trust in You.
Further Reading – Christ the King