Christ the King

When we think about royalty – kings and queens – the images that immediately come to our mind are a crown and a palace. But it is not like that with our King or His Kingdom, because the Kingdom of God is not a question of honors and appearances. As Saint Paul writes, it is “justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 4:17).

If we attentively read the gospels, we will notice how Jesus’ own perception changes in relation to His being called a king. We know that He refused the title of King when it was offered to Him (cf. Matthew 20:24). But during His Passion, the Lord embraced this title and before Pilot He confesses that it is the reason of His whole existence: Pilate said, ‘So, then you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is you who say that I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’ (John 18:37).

But we should understand that His Kingdom is not of this world (cf. John 18:36) and this is precisely where there is a difference. His Kingship is not established for servitude to Him, rather that through it we will imitate the One who gave His life for others. Today’s Gospel shows how much Jesus’ kingdom is different from other reigns, because fitting service to Christ, the King, is manifested primarily in our service to others: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed… ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for these least brothers of mine, you did for me’ (cf. Matthew 25).

Jesus, the King, did not come to be served, but to serve; in every single moment, His actions demonstrated control over Himself. He is the Master of His actions. He is not moved by the opinion of the crowd or the mood of the moment. Jesus is righteous in the eyes of God. We are all called to be this same kind of person: one who reigns over ourselves, for as we come to know Him better, we will want to imitate Him, becoming like Him.

There never has been and never will be someone exactly like Jesus, and His kingship continues in humility, rooted in a greatness like that of his mother, the Holy Virgin Mary, the humblest of all creatures. And in that humility is true greatness.

There is no doubt that the Lord Jesus is the King of the Universe; He has won victory by his unending love. It is up to us now to let Him rule in our lives and in our hearts.

Fr. Sergio