YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
HOMILY THEME: THU KINGDOM COME
BY: Fr. Agustin Mateo, Pastor
HOMILY: Today is the last Sunday of the liturgical year and we dedicate it to Jesus in a special way. It is the solemnity of Christ the King.
This solemnity is a relative newcomer in the Church’s calendar. Pope Pius XI added it to the calendar in 1925. Pope Paul VI gave the official title as Our Jesus Christ, King of the Universe in 1969. Pope Pius XI intended this feast to be an antidote to the poison of secularism, which was spreading at that time. Some countries were struggling against the anti-Catholic ideas of communism and fascism. Some other affluent democratic countries were simply losing interest in religion and giving over their lives to the pursuit of pleasure. Yet, Pius remained hopeful, writing that “when once men recognize, both in private and public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well ordered discipline, peace and harmony.” The challenges that Pius XI faced in society at that time are not different from the challenges our society faces today. Secularism, loss of interest in God, the greedy pursuit of money and pleasure are main priorities for some people today. At the end of this liturgical year, we can reflect on our lives and see the priorities that occupy most of our efforts and time in our daily lives. For some people, secularism grows even stronger today because of our attachment to a world of media, internet, and smartphones. These distractions sometimes occupy time and effort that we could spend in spiritual growth. It is necessary to celebrate this feast of Christ the King to place Christ crucified at the center of our lives. He died for our sins and weaknesses so that we may be freed from the poison of sin and spiritual death. Only in this way, we may attain the true freedom of the children of God to feed our spirit, soul, and body with the true wealth and wisdom that comes from our mother the Church.
Let us long to live in the kingdom of our heavenly Father, as the repentant thief desired at the side of Jesus: “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Every time we pray the Our Father, we ask God “thy kingdom come.” These are two instances that remind us that our kingdom is heavenly rather than the kingdom of this world with its secular ideals of society, namely, money and pleasures. Jesus reigns over the world by climbing the cross and giving himself up for our sins. All those who welcome Jesus as their King of the Universe may also accept the daily sufferings in serving the poor and those who do not know Christ. In this way, we can give witness of our faith even to the point of death. This is how we may also reign over our sins and death together with Christ.