Summary: Today on Christ the King we recall that the essential character of kingship means personal allegiance to one person. To say Christ is King implies that we are subjects.
There’s a famous remark from a Modernist priest named Alfred Loisy: “Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom, and what arrived was the Church.” Maybe his remark was a little like those T-shirts that say something like, “My parents went to the Grand Canyon and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
Loisy would have been pleased with today’s focus, however, which is The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Although Pilate questions him about his royal status, Jesus does not speak of himself, but about the Kingdom.
Never in the biblical writings does Jesus ever refer to himself as “king”.
In today’s gospel reading, although he talks about “my kingdom,” Jesus also explicitly distances himself from the title itself, responding to Pilate: “You say that I am a king.”
But Jesus was always preaching about the kingdom of God, and how it was emerging into our world through his life and anyone who would follow him.
Today on Christ the King we recall that the essential character of kingship means personal allegiance to one person. To say Christ is King implies that we are subjects.
He "reigns in the minds of men," in the wills of men, and He is King of our hearts.
St. Bernard prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus, take away scandals from your Kingdom, which is my soul, and reign there, You who alone have the right.
For greediness comes to claim a throne within me; haughtiness and self-assertion would rule over me; pride would be my king; lust says "I will reign"; ambition, detraction, envy and anger struggle within me for the mastery.
I resist as far as I am able; I struggle according as help is given me; I call on my Lord, Jesus; for His sake I defend myself, since I acknowledge myself as wholly His possession. He is my God, Him I proclaim my Lord; I have no other king than my Lord Jesus Christ. Come then, O Lord, and disperse these enemies by Your power, and You shall reign in me, for You are my king and my God. Amen.
As that prayer brings out, not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire.
An example of what happens when Jesus is not the King of our hearts is seen in the Berlin Art Gallery where there is a painting by the famous artist Mengel that is only partially finished. It is supposed to be a painting of King Frederick of Germany talking to his generals. Mengel painstakingly painted the generals first, placing them around the outside of the painting as a background and leaving a bare patch in the middle of the painting for the King. But Mengel died before he could finish the painting. So there is a painting full of generals, but no king.
Each one of us is painting the story of our lives with the simple words and deeds of everyday life.
Many times we allow our life story to become full of lesser authorities. But, as Christians, the painting of our lives is never complete until we place at its center Christ the King.
When is Christ is King of our hearts, there is peace.
PAX Christi in regnum Christi: the peace of Christ in the
Reign of Christ.
THE VOICE- Hear it truth. Lies warp the structure of being.
e.g. So, which road did truth-seeking young Jordan Peterson take that made all the difference in his life? He tells us in “Rule 8: Tell the Truth—Or, at Least, Don’t Lie”:
“I had a strange set of experiences a few years before embarking upon my clinical training. I found myself subject to some rather violent compulsions (none acted upon), and developed the conviction, in consequence, that I really knew rather little about who I was and what I was up to. So, I began paying much closer attention to what I was doing—and saying. The experience was disconcerting, to say the least. I soon divided myself into two parts; one that spoke, and one, more detached, that paid attention and judged. I soon came to realize that almost everything I said was untrue. I had motives for saying these things: I wanted to win arguments and gain status and impress people and get what I wanted. I was using language to bend and twist the world into delivering what I thought was necessary. But I was a fake. Realizing this, I started to practice only saying things that the internal voice would not object to. I started to practice telling the truth—or, at least, not lying. I soon learned that such a skill came in very handy when I didn’t know what to do. What should you do when you don’t know what to do? Tell the truth. This is from the best seller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.