Homily On The Solemnity Of Christ The King - 2020
“Christ must reign in both, our private and public lives”
Dearly beloved, it is a great joy to see all of you who have accepted the Lordship and kingship of our Lord Jesus over your life and that of your families. For many of the young generation, the idea of a king is limited to movies and books. As a Ghanaian, I do come from a culture where kingship and royalty have value and utmost respect. I came across this story about a King who so loved his subjects that he made a decision to leave the royal palace and live with them in the inner city. The subjects equally loved him and were happy about his decision. They no longer needed any appointment to meet him nor did he place any unbearable demands on them. After a few years, things started to deteriorate. He had lost the respect and the reverence that was his due as the king. The people no longer obeyed his summons, but each did as they pleased. Having lost every influence on the subjects, he decided to move away to an unknown town. Surprisingly, only a few realized his absence, till one day, other kings from a nearby village besiege the town. The abled men and women went out to look for the king, but it was too late. He was gone.
Beloved, this celebration of Christ the Universal King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925. This was contained in the encyclical “Quas Primas.”(In the first) Among other things, Pope Pius XI used the document also to reflect on the horrors of the World War I and the subsequent rise of the Soviet Communist regime; and the Communist philosophies and ideologies that openly rejected God in favor of human capabilities. The Pope remarked that if humanity had been able to sustain and perfect itself, without God's help, then Jesus Christ would never have come to earth. But, as scripture has it, “Christ came that we may have life and have it to the full. The Roman Pontiff wrote: "...When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony... That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to that end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ." (Quas primas, #19, 21)
Today’s gospel offers us a very practical demonstration of what it means to live by the message of the Kingdom that Jesus came to preach. Undoubtedly, the passage reminds us of what each and every person will be asked when we appear before the throne of God on the day of our particular judgement. If you never had any clue about some of the questions, you can begin preparing your answers now for that day; “'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.”’
Beloved, like the gospels for the past two weeks; the parable of the 10 virgins; the parable of the talents; Jesus’ admonishing is not about good versus evil. It’s not about doing good or evil. It’s about FAILING TO ACT. The sin of omission. A popular quote attributed to Edmond Burke reads “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Many of the calamities we read about in human history could have been avoided if some few individuals who were privy to certain information, had acted boldly and in good faith. It is never enough to avoid sin or anything evil, unless that leads or enables you subsequently to do the good. The body of Christ must rise, either in public or private life to what is good, right and just towards the poor, migrants, homeless, those suffering from addictions, and all who for no fault of their own are marginalized.
The first and second readings offer great assurance and hope. God Himself is our leader and guide. The true shepherd who gave Himself in exchange to pay the debt that we owed and thus, He has conquered death; which is our ultimate enemy. He will never abandon us on this journey. He has come to live with us and among us. Let us see Him in the lives of the people we meet. Let us however, be mindful to never grow in contempt of His nearness to us and forget who He is, as in the case of the villager’s in the story above.
I pray that you never get tired of allowing Christ to reign in your life and in every choice and decision you make. May He forever remain your king; in this life and hereafter. God bless you. Amen.