Summary: The Feast of Christ the King is an act of faith.
Christ, the King of Love
Dear sisters and brothers,
The Feast of Christ the King is an act of faith.
The Feast of Christ the King is not an issue for empirical verification for the kingship of Jesus Christ.
The history of the world is filled with stories and descriptions of kings, kingships, and kingdoms.
We do not have kings or queens, princes or princesses at present to see the way they lived, the way they captured the power and position to rule over and the way they established their own kingdoms in a particular part of the world with their might, violence and war.
One common denominator about all these king and kingdom stories and information, is that kings and kingdoms rise and fall at some historic moments and the ones that are still standing are destined to decline with time.
We know for sure those kings, kingships and kingdoms are not for eternal but for few years.
At the same time, Kingdom of God is eternal and the founder of the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ, the King of Love, rules over all the earth even after two thousand years with His forgiveness, mercy, compassion and love in service.
The Feast of Christ the King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
It was a deliberate response to the political background following World War I, including the rise of various dictators.
It is a statement that true sovereignty lies with Christ, not in order to disengage us from politics but instead to actively oppose every trace of human cruelty on this earth.
The Feast is not simply telling us to use our power for good; it is demanding that we re-examine the nature of power itself.
The Feast of Christ the King is one that gives me much to ponder.
Jesus taught often of the Kingdom of God.
I personally have found stories about kings to be fascinating.
The Old Testament has numerous accounts of kings who had been fair, just, and clearly dedicated to what is best of the good of their people.
There have also been kings who became caught up in power, self-serving, and disregarded what was for the benefit of those whom they ruled.
The effects of each of these styles of ruling were telling us that the king who served his people and built a kingdom where people were recognized for their dignity and goodness flourished, even in hard times.
The self-serving king created conflict, negativity, and discord. Distrust, poverty, and despair coloured the lives of those he ruled.
In her book, Comprehending Power in Christian Social Ethics, Christine Firer Hinze deliberates two models of socio-political power: “power over” and “power to.”
The first model “power over”: is a coercive power that can control the decisions of others.
The power holder is able to act against or in spite of others.
Thus, the “power over” approach might be either praised or denounced depending on the ends for which it is being employed.
Jesus emphasises: “My kingdom does not belong to this world.”
The second model: “power to.”
This account of power relates to people’s ability to realize their ends by collaborating with one another.
It focuses on a sort of efficacy in solidarity.
In emphasising that His kingdom does not belong to this world, perhaps we can say that Jesus considered “power to” rather than “power over”.
Even when directed to another’s good, coercive power seems lacking in perfection.
The most honoured virtues: faith, mercy, love- lose their virtuous character when compelled by an external force.
On the other hand, power in the sense of “power to” is engaged in relationships and in agreement with the virtuous fulfilment of one’s nature.
“Power to” is on display when marginalised, poor, outcast, downtrodden and tribals rise voice to their need for their rights.
“Power to” is on display when poor, who face countless aggressions, come together and demand the respect and inclusion due to them.
“Power to” is on display when people come together to demand change in global environmental practices.
“Power to” is on display when women protest against discrimination and equal wage and right in society.
We can go on and on this “Power to”.
The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Love because God is love.
It is ours to live our lives seeking to know and understand the reality of that love.
I have read that God's Kingdom is here, now.
What am I doing to discover it in my lived experience?
Just as Jesus Himself modelled, we too are called to be servants for each other.
For us as Disciples of Christ, it is our charism to walk as servants with those who are poor, needy, young, women and so on.