The dictionary defines a kingdom as a place or territory where a king takes control. It is a territory where a king rules.
Therefore, the Kingdom where Jesus reigns is a territory where Jesus is totally in charge. It is a place or unit where Jesus takes absolute control.
Today the Holy Mother Church celebrates the solemnity of Christ the King. Today is always accompanied with great celebration and merriment, as Christians, especially Catholics all over the world celebrate Christ the Supreme King of all that is and will be.
First of all, the celebration of today confirms Jesus as the true King. In essence, He is the One we are supposed to serve.
He is also the one who is supposed to take control of our situations and lives. When Pilate asks Him today, “So you are a king then?’ Jesus answered him ‘Yes, I am a king”.
Therefore, first of all, today is the celebration of the personality of Jesus as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the King of all the universe. Paul says in Colossians 1:17 that He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.
Today’s celebration marks the end of the Church’s liturgical calendar and then ushers us into the Advent season in preparation for the coming of Jesus.
The Solemnity simply points to Jesus as the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the omega as John testifies in the book of revelation in the second reading.
The celebration points to the fact that in life everything begins and ends in Jesus. In Colossians 1:16, Paul says that in Him all things have been created through Him and for Him.
The solemnity of Christ the King brings to our conscience what it means to be a leader and what it means to govern. It is a lesson for all the leaders, and people who are representing us in one particular aspect or the other.
Read My Past Three Reflections on Christ the King
The Historical Antecedent.
After World War 1, the world experienced a great collapse in its economic, political, social and spiritual development.
There was great hunger, distress and economic collapse. Many people began to suffer. At this time, many dictators began to arise and assert their superiority and power over the people. Hence, there was a rise of terror, intimidation and moral decadence. Many kings use their positions to assert how powerful they are. At that time, God became the last hope of the common man.
Many people, especially Christians began to seek the mercy and help of God. But the more they pray, the more it seems everything is getting worse.
The world war had a great negative effect on the faith of the people, especially those who hoped that God would help them but they still witnessed their beloved families die in hunger and war. At that time, many people began to lose hope in God. If God cannot save them, then faith is of no need.
Hence, there was an increase in how people are losing their faith. Then this also led to spiritual laxity and neglect of God.
It also led many Christians to question truly the existence and power of God. Hence, secularism was on the increase. Then, it was as if every power was on the earthly kings and rulers.
In the midst of these, then came the feast of Christ the King.
The feast of Christ the King was instituted at this time when faith was neglected. Pope Pius XI instituted the feast in the year 1925 as an answer to the kings who have already deemed themselves as gods.
Hence, the feast showcases that only Jesus is the true King, and His kingdom is the only one that is everlasting. All other kingdoms and positions that other people or kings occupy are earthly and momentary. In essence, Jesus is the only true King.
The feast was also created as an answer to the people who have been tempted to lose faith in God.
It is an answer that God is still the King, despite the problems that are ravaging the world. As the world passes, in the end, everything will come to pass.
Pope Pius XI created the solemnity of Christ the King with the encyclical Quas Primas.
Through this, The pope hoped that the institution would see that all nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Quas Primas, 32).
Secondly, leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ and not seek honour upon themselves (Quas Primas, 31).
Thirdly, that the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (Quas Primas, 33).
This confirms that Jesus is the one to whom all respect must be given and to whom we are bound to serve. The feast also was an answer to the nepotic leadership of the time, dictating to them that the best form of leadership is service.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The event in the gospel is what happened during the suffering and agony of Jesus Christ when the people brought Jesus to Pilate so that He will use his power and condemn Jesus to death. So, the first question that Pilate asks Jesus in today’s gospel is “Are you the King of the Jews?”.
This question is not as simple as we may think. If Jesus affirms that He is a king, it means that He is trying to create a revolution against the Romans because the Jews at that time were under the Roman empire.
Remember that Pilate is Roman Prefect, the governor of the province of Judea as of that time. While Herod Antipas was in charge of Galilee where Jesus came from. Galilee is under Judea. This is the reason Pilate first of all sent Jesus to Him.
So, if Jesus assumes a king, He poses a threat to Rome and could be charged for treason which is only punishable by hanging or death.
Jesus gave Pilate a perfect response. He, first of all, asked Him “ ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’
Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’
Then Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world. Therefore, Jesus tells Pilate that His kingdom is not like the one he is expecting. His kingdom is different. The kingdom of Jesus Christ is not like the kingdom of the world. In essence, The Kingdom of Jesus is not that of the world.
2. Jesus tells Pilate that “ if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind”.
Therefore, the Kingdom where Jesus reigns is not where violence, war, retaliation take supreme. The Kingdom of Jesus is not a kingdom where people achieve greatness by intimidation and rigging of election.
This is not a place where people deal with each other or fight each other. The kingdom where Jesus reigns is different. It is not a kingdom of political differences, it is not a kingdom of unnecessary competition. The Kingdom where Jesus reigns is different.
3. Pilate asks Jesus “So you are a king then?’ Instead of Jesus saying yes immediately, Jesus also accuses him of already confirming that He is King. Jesus says ‘It is you who say it, Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth.
Therefore, Jesus is telling Him that truly He is a King indeed but one with a difference. He is a king not like the one Pilate expects and suspects. Therefore, His kingship poses no threat to Rome. He is a king, but not as the Jewish leaders are seeing Him. His kingdom is not worldly.
It is not a kingdom where politicians embezzle public funds and allow their citizens to go hungry. It is not a place ruled by hatred, wickedness and unnecessary competitions.
The kingdom of Jesus is not a place where we rise to positions so that people will worship us. This is not a kingdom whose intention is to seek self-honour, It is not a kingdom where people who are given power abuse it.
This kingdom is the opposite of all these. Therefore, when Jesus reigns truly in our lives, our lives will change. Instead of hatred, envy and wickedness, there will be peace, unity, love and progress. A kingdom where Jesus reigns is not worldly.
Jesus As A King.
In the first reading, Daniel says that He saw someone like the Son of man coming from the clouds of heaven, He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence. Then On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servant.
One hopes that Daniel is talking about the Kingship of Jesus.
Also, when the angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, the angel said to her “Look you will conceive and bear a son and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be named son of the Most High because the Lord God will give him the throne of His father David, He will rule over the house of Jacob and his kingdom will have no end (Luke 1:31-33). Which is also another prophecy of the kingship of Jesus
Thirdly, when the three wise men came to see Jesus, they asked Herod “where is the infant king of the jews? (Matthew 2:2) Also, they offered Jesus gifts of gold which signifies His kingship.
Fourthly, The book of Revelation 17:14 and the letter of Saint Paul to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:13–15 call him the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
The second reading calls Him the First-Born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth, the Alpha and the Omega’ the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. He is great and full of power.
Jesus told Pilate that He is a king.
During His entry into Jerusalem before his death, the Jews shouted: (Lk 19:38)“God bless the King, who comes in the name of the Lord.”
A king is someone who rules a kingdom. He takes absolute control of a territory. So, if Jesus is a King, He has to take absolute control of our lives, absolute control of our situation.
He needs to be in charge of our homes, families, decisions, communities etc, He should be our guide. Hence we shall look up to Him as our mentor. Every leader is bound to walk in His footsteps. If Jesus is our king, then we walk in dominion, power and glory.
His kingdom is full of power, encircled with love, garnished with forgiveness, a kingdom where God reigns, where God is the motivating factor behind all we do. It is a kingdom where service is the secret of greatness.
In the Kingdom where Jesus reigns, there is peace, there is fullness of grace, power, the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. So, the question today is “is Jesus our king?
If Jesus is our king, why then do we disobey Him and follow the order of other persons? Who do we give absolute control to? What is controlling us?
Is it money, friends, material possessions, knowledge, lust, etc whatever takes control of our lives is our King.
The Kingdom Where Jesus reigns: The Implication.
Therefore, the readings of today provide us with different characteristics of the Kingdom of God.
In the first reading, Daniel says that He saw someone like the Son of man coming from the clouds of heaven.
Then on him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servant”.
Therefore, the kingdom of God is full of power, glory and dominion. In essence, Where Jesus reigns, there is power, glory and dominion. Where Jesus reigns, no power reigns supreme.
Where Jesus is in control, the kingdoms of darkness have already been vanquished. A life where Jesus reigns has already dominion over evil and sin. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
He is King over afflictions, over problems and tribulations, death, principalities and power. In Him there is victory.
2. From the first reading, Daniel says that for the son of man, men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. Therefore, in God’s kingdom, we are called to serve and not be served.
Every work we do is to serve God. If people can understand that in their professions and vocation, that God is the one they serve, they will eschew pride and unseriousness. When we work, we do not work for our name to be glorified, we work for God.
In Matthew 20:26, when the apostles of Jesus were quarrelling on who is the greatest among them, Jesus tells them “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.
Therefore, the kingdom where Jesus reigns is a kingdom where service to God is the guiding principle.
We serve and not be served. Therefore, if Jesus is truly reigning in your heart, take your work as the service you render to Him, you would even see that you will do it with all your heart.
3. Thirdly, Daniel says in the first reading that His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed.
In essence, the Kingdom of God is different from that of the world. This Kingdom lasts forever.
So, every position that we acquire in this world must one day come to an end. But God’s kingdom lasts forever.
Therefore, Jesus is the true King, every other king, president, governor, leader etc are only not the true king. This is an answer to the dictators during the time of Pope Pius XI.
They thought that power belonged to them. Therefore, if you are in any top position now, always know that what you are is given to you and must one day be taken away from you.
1. When Jesus says that His kingdom is not of this world, it does not mean that Jesus has no interest in this world. He said in the gospel that His coming is to save the world.
Jesus emptied Himself and allowed Himself to die for the salvation of the world (Philippians 2:6-7). He does this so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
So, Jesus does not come to assume political office or kingship, but instead, Jesus desires that we give him the chance to reign in our hearts.
He wants to save us from damnation. Therefore, We have to enthrone Him in their hearts.
Therefore, the kingship of Jesus has to take root in our lives. This is not saying that we love God, yet cannot do anything to please Him.
This is not saying that Jesus is our king, yet we do not have time for Him.
The Kingship of Jesus in essence means that He should be the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega of all that we do.
“Everything for Jesus” should be our guide.
2. The solemnity of Christ the King is a lesson to all leaders to understand that whatever they have and whoever they are is only by the grace of God. This is given to them.
It is a pointer that one day, they will leave that office or position. No earthly position is everlasting, only that of Jesus.
But today, when people rise to certain positions in life, they think that everything is by their power. Many people misuse power anyhow and abuse the rights of their citizens.
They would not understand how ephemeral worldly things are until everything is taken away from them. Whatever you have today, or wherever you are today, know that it is a matter of time.
3. The solemnity of Christ the King today also teaches us to take Jesus as our role model. Our positions are to serve.
The point is that many people do not understand this. When we find ourselves in certain positions, we see it as a way to enrich our pockets.
Many of us see it as a way to intimidate others or to show off. Any position we see ourselves in is to serve and uplift others.
Jesus shows this when he washes the feet of His disciples. Jesus says to them “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:14-15).
4. In the second reading, John says that grace and peace come from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-Born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. 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.
From today’s readings, we have seen that the Kingdom of Jesus is full of grace. It is a kingdom of peace, holiness, goodness, forgiveness and love.
Therefore, where Jesus reigns there is fullness of grace, love, the forgiveness of sins, and service. In this kingdom, there is peace.
This is peace with God by being free from sin, Peace in the midst of difficulties, peace amid chaos, confusion and disunity, peace among those subject to us and peace with our neighbour.
If Jesus is truly in control of our lives, then nothing should separate us from Him. Also, we shall be at peace with people who come close to us and then we should not find it hard to let go and forgive.
5. A family where Jesus reigns is already heaven on earth.
This family will have peace, unity and progress. It is a type of family where people love and help themselves.
A community where Jesus reigns is already blessed. In this community, everybody is out to help each other.
A life where Jesus reigns is already a candidate of eternal reward. Such life will have peace. He will have pure heart and be free from the worries and problems of this world.
Such life does not find it difficult to seek peace with God. He takes His vocation and profession as a way to serve God. He forgives easily, Then the question is “can we still find such among ourselves? Is Christ truly our King?
6. Who is our King? Who is controlling us? What is controlling us? Money? Problems and circumstances? Who is in charge of our lives? That person whose order takes the first position is our King. Then is Christ our King?
May Jesus reign in our hearts, may He take absolute control of our situations. Amen