Blessings of peace and joy to you and your families.
“Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.” “Amen I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23: 42-43). These two profound statements, the first made by a dying thief on a cross and the second by a dying king on the Cross are repeated to us every year on the feast of Christ the King.
We notice from the gospel that all the people mentioned in the account: the rulers of the people, the soldiers, and the other thief, ridiculed Jesus because it was absurd to see the one who claimed to be a king dying on the cross. Conversely, the “repentant” thief, amid such derision, was able to contemplate the unfolding events to discover the humble king of heaven and earth.
The first reading is even more consequential to the understanding of the kingship and the kingdom of Jesus. According to 2 Samuel 5:1-3, David was anointed king after all the tribes of Israel came to ask him to be their king. Note that this was the third anointing David received following what is recorded in 1 Samuel 16:1-13, when God asked Samuel to anoint him, and the one recorded in 2 Samuel 2:1-4, when the tribe of Judah asked him to be their king. The significance of the threefold anointing which never happened to any priest, king, prophet was that: 1. David’s kingship will be permanent and everlasting. 2. His kingdom will go beyond a demarcated boundary to include everyone.
Observe that these anointings occurred not for David himself, but for the messiah( the Christ/ anointed), the future descendant of David, Jesus Christ, who will be a ‘Prophet’, ‘King’, and Priest’(note also that these three groups were all anointed for their ministries). Again, connect what the angel Gabriel said to Mary concerning Jesus, “ the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will rule over the house of Jacob, and his kingdom will have no end (Luke 1:32-33). It is through the cross that Jesus fulfills this and establishes the kingdom which is open to all people. For this reason, St. Paul in the second reading reminds us that God has delivered us from darkness into the kingdom of his beloved son; in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
So, the monumental consideration for us, as we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, is not whether the World recognizes Jesus, not whether some people somewhere or around us accept Jesus, but whether YOU and I will keep accepting Jesus as our king and live as members of his kingdom to the end. And remember, His kingdom first takes place in our HEARTS; and it is a kingdom of truth, peace, justice, and love for all women and men.