Today we celebrate the solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, The King of the Universe. But is this celebration new in our faith? I would say no. This is because we already celebrate the Kingship of Jesus at the Feast of the Epiphany. This solemnity comes therefore as a reminder and a call to rediscover our own identity, since we have been, by our baptism, integrated in this kingship. At our baptism, the rite of the anointing with the Sacred Chrism is accompanied with the following words:
“God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, and has given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life.”
What are then the main characteristics of that kingship? First of all, it is about humility. And St. Paul is clear about this when he says: “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” From his birth in the manger in Bethlehem to his death in complete destitution, Jesus lived the virtue of humility. He shows us that humility is key to exaltation.
The solemnity of Christ the King is also about service. Jesus teaches us the true meaning of sharing in his kingship. He made it clear throughout his life when he insists that “the greatest among you must be the servant of all.” Moreover, Jesus hammers it home on the Last Supper when he washes his disciples’ feet. He says, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”(John 13:13-15). We are called to life of selfless service and, as disciples we should find our joy in serving the Lord through our commitment to serving our brothers and sisters. Jesus reminds us that we cannot embrace him and at the same live away from the commitment to courageously be involved in the life of the church, his body.
Christ the King is finally about love. A King who is a good shepherd gives his life for the sake of his sheep. Since we have been made members of the body and have become one with the Lord, service becomes a question of either life or death for us; a question of either our faithfulness to or our denial of our Lord in our life. Like Jesus who is Love itself as St. John tells us, for us his disciples, we can live but by and through love. We are called to be expression of God’s selfless love to the world. To love is not to have a mere feeling of attraction towards someone. True love is to be able to accept even death for the sake of others. Love is a call to death to self.
The question for all and each one of us today is: To what extend am I willing and ready to make fruitful these three virtues in my life as disciple and member of Holy Cross Church Family: Humility, Service and Love in order to make the kingship of Jesus tangible in my life?
Let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.