HOMILY FOR THE 34TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING), YEAR C.
THEME: JESUS CHRIST, OUR UNIVERSAL KING.
BY: Rev. Sylvanus Amaobi.
(1st Reading, 2 Sam. 5:1-3; 2nd Reading, Col. 1:12-20; Gospel, Luke 23:35-43)
Dear brothers and sisters, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
We have come to the end of the Church’s liturgical year, and this Sunday, we are celebrating Christ as the Universal King, and recognizing and celebrating Jesus Christ as our King is of immense importance. He reigns in our lives, in our hearts, and our families. He reigns in our counties, in our villages, in our towns, in our states, and in our nations.
THE DAVIDIC KINGSHIP AND COVENANT
The first reading from the book of the second Samuel (2 Sam. 5:1-3) talks about David as the King of Israel and the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. David was a shepherd who found favor before the Lord and whom the elders and the people endorsed and anointed King of Israel as is read today. When Saul disobeyed God, he was rejected by God. Samuel said to him, “You have acted foolishly! Had you kept the command of the Lord your God gave you, the Lord would now establish your kingship in Israel forever; but now your kingship shall not endure. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart to appoint as ruler over his people because you did not observe what the Lord commanded you” (I Sam. 13:13-14). David was the man after God’s heart chosen to replace Saul. And to David, God promises through the Prophet Nathan, “I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from Saul who was before you. Your house and your kingdom are firm forever before me; your throne shall be firmly established forever” (2 Sam. 7:15-16).
Jesus Christ is often called the “Son of David.” This is because Jesus’ ancestry links him to David, the King of Israel. Talking about God’s fulfillment of His promise to David, Paul says, “From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus” (Acts 13:23). Jesus is our savior and our King too. But His kingship is different from what the Jews and probably many of us envisage. As such, when Pilate asked Him, are you the King of the Jews? Jesus answered, my kingdom does not belong to this world. It is important for us to know the nature of Jesus’ Kingship.
JESUS CHRIST OUR KING REIGNS FROM THE CROSS
Jesus is a king that rules through service. He said to his apostles, “whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:26-28). He washed the apostles’ feet and challenged them to do the same to others. “I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should also do” (John 13:15).
The Gospel passage of today (Luke 23:35-43) presents us with the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the sneering and jeering by the people and soldiers alike, and the reviling by the criminals crucified with him. The most ironic aspect of his kingship is the final enthronement upon the cross of Calvary. In fact, Jesus’ reign is a reign of the cross. He reigns and rules from the cross. The cross is His throne. Pope Francis rightly observes that “it is precisely on the Cross that the kingship of Jesus shines forth in divine fashion: ‘his royal throne is the wood of the Cross!’ It is upon this throne of wood that Jesus takes upon himself the evil, the filth, the sin of the world, including the sin of all of us, and he cleanses it. He cleanses it with his blood, with the mercy and the love of God.” Therefore, if we want to reign with Him, we shall be willing to accept our cross and be ready to die with Him.
Always remember that Jesus loves you!
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