Friday, 24 November 2017


A few thoughts for the Solemnity of Christ the King which the Church celebrates this Sunday. “Yes, I am a king.” So said Jesus to Pontius Pilate.  “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.” 

Shortly before this He had told His apostles, “You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. 14 If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other's feet.” Jesus also allowed Himself to be called Rabbi – which means ‘teacher.’
Yes, Jesus  allowed these and other leadership titles to be applied to Him. There’s a verse in the Letter to the Hebrews, (12.2), Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection.”  As I meditate on the Solemnity of Christ the King it occurs to me that anyone who holds a position of authority would do well to keep his or her eyes fixed on Jesus.  Were they to do so it would be of great benefit to all those over whom they preside. Those leaders who fix their eyes on themselves in one big ‘ego-trip’ of self-admiration and self-inflation are much to be regretted!  
For Jesus the defining quality of any leader should be that the greatest of all should be the servant of all - whether he or she be king, queen, president, prime minister, manager, head or whatever.  The greatest of all would be the servant of all. Their ideal should be unity and collaboration rather than division and confrontation, reconciliation rather than retaliation.

The Mission of Jesus Himself  is  stated in the Preface of the Mass for the Solemnity of Christ the King, “That  He might accomplish the mysteries of human redemption and, making all created things subject to His rule, He might present  to the immensity of the majesty of His Heavenly Father an eternal and universal kingdom, a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”

Jesus was the valiant, conquering King who alone could overcome the enemies of mankind - death and sin. And this He did through His Crucifixion and Resurrection. 

We ourselves, as we follow the leadership of Jesus, are called to allow Jesus to continue His great good work through us. This is to live according to the values of His Kingship, to promote these values and thereby have a godly influence on others.

Our Christian Faith should convince us that those who are brash and self-centred, those who measure significance by wealth and weaponry, power and persuasion, were never meant to control and demean the quality of living of the human family.

As we celebrate the Kingship of Jesus we are to realize that when the   Son of God became man He affirmed and elevated the humanity, the dignity, of every  boy and girl, every man and woman, that ever existed. Each and every one without exception is made in the image and likeness of Almighty God, Heavenly Father of them all – His beloved children.

Every day the Media make us aware that God’s beloved sons and daughters are being made to suffer, allowed to suffer, throughout the world. Pope Francis describes this as a culture of global indifference. And yet people talk of human progress! God the Father realized the Son He sent into the world had to be Savior as well as  King.

Yes, as we celebrate Jesus as King we must rejoice over the blessings Christianity has brought the world throughout the ages. Yes, we must look forward to that day when Jesus will come in all His Kingly Glory to welcome us in to His Father’s Heavenly Kingdom.

But, in the name and power of Christ the King, we must also do all that is  possible  to save multitudes from having to endure man-made hell on earth. Attempting  to do this, empowered the grace of God, is surely the most effective way of celebrating the Christ as King!


Peter Clarke, O.P.

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