A king is someone who exercises power and authority over a domain and people. A good king, like a good shepherd, will do so for the well being and benefit of his subjects, not his own. For instance, in days of old, the king would not only govern and protect his people but would also be the one to lead them in battle. In short then, a king is one who rules, but furthermore, one who sees his authority as a form of service.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, king of the universe. That the domain of Christ’s kingship is the whole universe is also revealed in today’s second reading, since “in Him, all things were created.” (Col 1:16) Further still, when by our disobedience death had entered the world and we had come under the power of darkness, our King delivered us by “making peace through the blood of His cross” and “becoming the firstborn of the death.” (Col. 1:18-20) In other words, not only does our King have authority over us by having created us, but he exercises said power for our benefit, even when we had trend from him. Such is the benevolence and love of our King, that he would leave his majesty in Heaven to go into the darkness of sin to rescue those who are his, but who, not recognizing him, still deride Him: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” (Lk. 23:37) Yet, such is His power also, that when seemingly stripped of all strength and dignity, he still does not think of himself, but of his subjects. For even while perishing himself, he does not look to his own good – “if you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” – but is instead concerned with the welfare of his people “today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Lk. 23:43) Such is the way our king exercises His authority and power: for our sake.
What should we take away from this solemnity? Just as a good king rules for the sake of his people, it is also part of it that the people love and revere his king. If such is the case with earthly kings, even if they are good kings, should it not be also with Christ? Him, who, surpassing all other kings, has given himself up to death for the sake of his people, and in doing so, has offered us eternal life. Let us then follow the example of our King; let us rule over our affairs, our duties, and our relationships for the sake and love of those around us. Let us extend ourselves in the service of God and of others. In this way, we shall show reverence and give glory to our King, that one day we also may be with Him in paradise.
Santiago Torres – St. Joseph Seminary, Edmonton, Alberta
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