for Sunday, November 21, 2010
When we read today's Gospel, we see that Jesus is called King of the Jews.
His style of kingship is not what anyone was expecting. The first thing
that a king must have if he is to continue as king is some kind of power.
Jesus seems helpless. Jesus actually chooses to be helpless and to allow
himself to be ridiculed and despised. This surely does not sound like a
king with any power.
The teaching in the Gospels is absolutely clear: If you want to be first,
then be the last. If you want to have power, then become the servant of
all others. The Solemnity of Christ the King is not about power or about
being firstóno, it is about doing the will of the Father. Today's
challenge is not for Christians to take on power and prestige. Today's
challenge is about Christians believing and being will to suffer for their
The first reading today is from the Second Book of Samuel and tells about
the anointing of David as king. If we look at David, we find a man who is
faithful to the Lord, but also a great and glorious sinner. David has
immense energies and they are not all given over to serving God. In this
sense David is a good model for all of us. What stands out in David's life
is his ability to repent of his sins and to turn back to God. In this
sense, David is a model king.
Most of us in the West are not very familiar with actual living kings
because kings and queens have mostly disappeared. Those that remain are no
longer kings and queens with any absolute power. Most are constitutional
monarchs. It doesn't really matter, because the image of the king is
simply the image of a very powerful person who is able to unite a people.
In that sense, a president today could also be seen as a king. In the
tradition of the Old Testament, of course, kings are anointed. They have a
mission from God. Our presidents today are not anointed but almost always
we expect them to be saviors.
Perhaps we could spend time today reflecting that in Christ the King we
have the reconciliation of all things, according to the Second Reading from
the Letter to the Colossians. The only way to this reconciliation is
through suffering and death. We are invited to die to ourselves today and
to allow the world to be reconciled in us. This can only happen when we
are able truly to forgive everyone who has ever harmed us or caused us
Forgive and you shall be forgiven. Be at peace and you will bring
reconciliation. Take up the Cross so that you may share the Resurrection.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: