2 Samuel 5:1-3, Colossians 1:12-20, Luke 23:35-43
The King that is Ready to Save
There was a story about the king of Prussia whose name was Frederick. He was nicknamed Frederick the Great because He was very wise and brave.
Like other kings, He enjoys a lot of pleasure and lives in a very beautiful palace. He is also well served by different kinds of officers and servants.
Then among the servants, there was a little boy whose name was Carl. He must sit outside the king’s bedroom to serve him always.
So, one night because of the king’s busy schedule, the little servant was kept busy running errands until past midnight.
The next morning, the king wished to send him on another errand. He called him but the little servant did not answer.
He wondered what could have caused this, He opened the door and saw the little servant sitting on his chair, deeply asleep. The poor servant was so tired after the night’s work that he could not wake up on time.
The king was about to wake him angrily and roughly when he saw a piece of paper on the floor beside him. He picked it up and read it. It was a letter from the little servant’s mother.
The letter says “Dearest Carl; You are a good boy to send me all your wages, for now, I can pay the rent and buy some warm clothing for your little sister. I thank you for it and pray that God will bless you. Be faithful to the king and do your duty.
The king went back to the room and took ten gold pieces from his table and wrapped them in a little letter. Then went out very quietly, and slipped them all into the boy’s pocket.
After a while, he rang the bell again, very loudly. Carl awoke and came quickly to answer the call. “I think you have been asleep,” said the king. The boy stammered and did not know what to say. He was frightened and ready to cry.
He put his hand in his pocket and was surprised to find the gold pieces wrapped in his mother’s letter. Then his eyes overflowed with tears, and he fell on his knees before the king.
“What is the matter?” asked Frederick. “Oh, your Majesty!” cried Carl. “Have mercy on me. It is true that I have been asleep, but I know nothing about this money. Someone is trying to ruin me.”Have courage, my boy,” said the king. “I know how you must have been overworked with long hours of watching. And people say that fortune comes to us in our sleep. You may send the gold pieces to your mother with my compliments, and tell her that the king will take care of both her and you.”
The king understands the situation of the little boy. He knows what kept him from doing his work. The king knows why he struggled. He understands that the servant needed rest and help, and the King comes to save Him.
Whenever we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, we celebrate Jesus the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the King who is ever ready to save. The King who understands His children more than anyone.
Read My Past Reflections on the Solemnity of Christ the King
The Role of the King.
In the first reading, all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron. They reminded David that they come from the same flesh and blood.
The elders also reminded David how he led Israel in all their exploits when Saul was their king. They reminded him that God chose him to be the shepherd of His people Israel, and the leader.
When all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.
When we read critically about this meeting between David and His Kinsmen, we will understand that these elders gradually enumerated to David what they want or expected of Him as their King.
Also, in their interactions with David, we will see the roles expected of a king. From today’s encounter, we shall derive these as the qualities expected of a King.
1. A king is in charge of a kingdom or charge of the people. The King should always be available for His people. He welcomes everyone and hence is committed to solving their needs.
When All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron in the first reading, He welcomed them. He made Himself available to them. He treated them like human beings.
A king must be ready to save. He must be ready to know and understand the problems and needs of the people under him.
Therefore, the aim of these explanations is for us to understand what we truly mean when we call Jesus our King.
In essence, the feast of Christ the king reminds us that Jesus is the one who is in charge of our souls. He is in charge of our existence. He is the king who is ready to save at all times.
To call Jesus the king is an understanding that Jesus is committed to solving our needs. He understands us more than anyone.
Jesus welcomes everyone and makes Himself available in the Holy Eucharist for everyone. He does not segregate. Therefore, Jesus is different from our notion of earthly kings. His kingship is different from that of the world.
2. When they met David, they said ‘Look, we are your flesh and blood. They intend to make David their king, and they remind him that He is part of them in flesh and blood.
Therefore, a King is chosen among His kinsmen. He understands their plights and problems better than anyone.
This is why Jesus took human flesh. By taking human flesh, he becomes one with us, He is willing to save and have mercy on us because He understands better our loopholes and weaknesses.
A king should be willing to save and understand the needs of His people.
3. The elders of Israel reminded David that in the days past when Saul was their king, it was David who led Israel in all their exploits.
By this, they affirmed that one of the roles of a King is to save his people from attack, hunger, intimidation, suffering, poverty, etc. He should always aim to lead His people to victory.
4. The people said to David that God appointed him to be the man who shall be the shepherd of His people Israel, and He shall be the leader of Israel. Therefore, they reminded David, of the true implication of being a king.
A King should be a shepherd and not a terror. He should lead the people along the right paths, he is to be with them both in good times and bad times.
Jesus calls himself the good shepherd. He is the only king who is ever willing to save.
5. So, all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.
The pact is done in God’s presence. The king leads His people to God and not away from God. Jesus is the one that leads us closer to God. He is the king of kings and lord of Lords.
The Kingship of Jesus Christ.
The gospel of today presented us with Jesus on the cross, and how the people were watching him hanging on the cross.
The Irony part of it, is that at the cross was an inscription that reads boldly, “Jesus King of the Jews”, how can a King hang on the cross?
Instead of celebrating a King, this king was tortured and crucified. In the gospel, the king of the Jews was jeered by the leaders, and mocked by the soldiers, and they commanded him to save himself.
Yet, above him, there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’ What a mockery! The King was helpless. He was rather abused by one of the criminals crucified with him. ‘
What this is telling us is that the kingship of Jesus Christ is different from the kingship of the world. His Kingship is that of the opposite.
In the Old Testament, Solomon dressed in fine linens and built a powerful and magnificent temple. He was decorated with royalty.
Pharaoh maintained an iron rule over the Egyptians and their Israelite slaves. He was like a dictator. Whatever He commands, the people must obey.
Hence, Jesus was mocked, jeered, abused, stripped and crucified on the cross. He lay in a manger, shared meals with the poor and associated with public sinners. He preached peace, love and forgiveness.
Jesus Christ never looked very much like a King, but he was a King. Revelation 19:16 says that On his robe and his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
When the Magi from the east came to Jerusalem to honour Jesus their question was “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.
When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2:2-3).
Secondly, Jesus himself said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).
Hence the kingship of Jesus is not one full of arrogance, selfishness, worldly honour, pleasure, adornment etc. His kingship is spiritual. The kingship of Jesus is opposite from that of the world.
This is True Leadership.
In Luke 17, Jesus tells the Pharisees that neither God nor God’s kingdom was coming in the manner they were expecting. He is not like the revolutionary leader who will fight the Romans, as they expected, brought into the world in splendour and glory.
Therefore, Jesus is teaching us that the true way to lead is not to Lord it over the people or intimidate them. Rather, the true King is the one who longs to save His people.
Therefore, if we want to lead, we must be ready to serve and touch the lives of the people that we lead.
This is against many people in political and high offices, who see themselves as gods.
Instead of serving those under their care, they feed on them, intimidate them, and become a tool of suffering for the people.
They try to show them that they are the ones in charge. The king that is ready to save is the true King. The true King is the one who is ready to save his people.
Jesus is Always Ready to Save.
The episode that happens in the gospel reminds us of the type of King that Jesus is. At the cross, when one of the criminals hanging there abused him. The other spoke up and rebuked his brother.
He said to his brother, “You have no fear of God at all?, You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong”.
Then He said to Jesus, ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Immediately, Jesus promised him saying “‘Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise”.
’Jesus is always ready to save. He is ready to forgive. His kingdom is the kingdom of peace, mercy, love, forgiveness, service and eternity. His kingdom does not end in this world, His kingdom lasts forever.
Therefore, when we belong to this kingdom, we shall encounter His mercy, salvation, peace and most importantly eternal life. The only way to be part of this kingdom is to repent and embrace Jesus.
We have to remember that at the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus was moving about and preaching “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
So, the kingdom that we are celebrating is the kingdom of righteousness, peace, love and repentance. It is the kingdom of service and freedom.
Paul captures this in the second reading when he says
“We give thanks to the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit the light. Because that is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
1. Today’s Feast of Christ the King reminds us of an important truth that we all must bear in mind. By celebrating Jesus Christ as the King, we are invariably saying that Jesus is the one who must take charge of everything about us.
Jesus Christ must be in charge of our lives, He has sovereign power over our bodies, our thoughts, our hearts and our whole being. And just as subjects submit to the authority of their kings, we must submit to the authority of Jesus. We do not act as if we are the owner of our lives. Jesus must be in all in all in our lives.
Therefore, before you say, “it is my life to live”, do not forget that you are not the owner of your life. Jesus is in charge. So, as you celebrate Christ the King, remember that.
2. Jesus as the King also means that He takes absolute control of our situations. Therefore, in times of trouble and challenges, is time we have to increase our visitation to The Blessed Sacrament.
It is not a time to lose faith nor a time to lose hope in God, rather, it is a time we have to exercise our faith in the person who has absolute and total control of it.
3. If Jesus loved us and was willing to die to save us, that means we have to love Him with all that we are. We have to love Him with all our hearts, soul and strength.
Also, Just as Jesus is willing to die for others, we have to follow in his footsteps. We have to learn how to love others. We create heaven on earth if we can love ourselves.
4. The repentant thief on the cross did not ask for freedom from the cross, he did not ask for any material need or that Jesus sends thunder from heaven to save them.
Unlike the other thief who was asking to be saved from the cross, the repentant thief was asking to be part of the kingdom of Jesus.
Therefore, this teaches us that nothing is more important than the Kingdom of God. Earthly needs are not everything.
We need earthly needs to live in this world, but we do not forget that they will all end in this world, therefore, we also have to aspire for the eternal Kingdom, as the repentant thief did.
5. The Feast of Christ the King reveals to us that we do not attain greatness in a worldly way. Great men are people willing to sacrifice their lives for the betterment of mankind.
Therefore, we do not attain greatness through bribery and corruption nor by intimidation. Rather, spiritual greatness is achieved through serving others and being humble. Jesus says in Mark 10:43, “whoever wants to be great among you will be a servant to you”.
5. The King that is always ready to save is Jesus. Jesus is ready to save us, but we neglect him. We do not even have His time. Many souls today have abandoned Him. So, the question today is “If Jesus is the King that is ready to save, why do we abandon Him?
6. Can we also lead like Jesus, can we be harbingers of peace, love and mercy? Can we be ready to serve? Are we proponents of peace in our families or destruction? Can we also be ready to save?
If there are people under our care both in your family and organisation, how do we treat them? Let us be like Jesus.
In the first reading, the people had a pact with King David. Let us have a close and one relationship with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
As David always leads the people to victory, When Jesus is in absolute control, then victory is sure.
May God bless you and give us victory over all our challenges. Amen. Happy Solemnity of Christ the King.