21 November 2010 Solemnity of Christ the King
2 Sam 5:1-3; Psalm 122; Col 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43
In the deep recesses of our hearts, we discover a common desire. This desire is the very objective of the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King, the end of the liturgical year.
Every human being desires a restoration, expressed in many ways. Healing is a restoration to health. Those who are lost long to find their home, whether they find it in the company of one or in a community. Forgiveness reconciles us to people who have been estranged from us. Reunions gather people who have been separated for a long time. A convention is a meeting of people who have the same concern or interest. Social media connects people from all over the world. Global collaboration encourages people from all walks of life to work together for the common welfare.
This desire brings us to humanity’s ultimate goal to be at peace with one another. On the 11th of December 1925, Pope Pius XI establishes the Solemnity of Christ the King with the objective and meaning, “to restore all things in Christ.” He said that the mission of everyone is building the Kingdom of God. This is meditation of the third of the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary. Jesus proclaims the Kingdom and describes it using different parables. And therefore, the objective of this Sunday’s celebration is already embedded in our hearts and in the practice of the Christian faith. Like all desires, this ultimate aspiration seeks fulfillment.
The idea of a king may sound so archaic because in today’s world, there is no edifying example of an ideal king. Monarchical rule is a thing of the past. But the notion of kingship is not strange to many biblical Christians: kingship is about service in the image of the shepherd. The shepherd is pivotal in the gathering of the sheep; without the shepherd it is difficult for the sheep to be managed into the fold. When Israel requested to have a human king to unite everyone against their enemies, the Lord granted the wish provided that the king lives “in His Spirit.” The human king was to lead the flock in the manner the Lord cares for them. Jesus saw this need when the people were ‘like sheep without a shepherd.’ The king therefore is the center and reason for the gathering; the rallying point of those who are scattered.
The prime example is the Eucharistic celebration. People who attend the mass are of different personalities, backgrounds, and cultures. Those who are in conflict with each other may also be present in the same congregation. But they are there because they all love Christ. It is Christ who makes the gathering possible. Unity becomes a reality “through Him, with Him and in Him in the unity of the Holy Spirit.”
How then do we live out this Solemnity? We are to restore all things in Christ…
In our individual lives. Do we spend time to “recoup our energies” when we are tired or keep our bodies healthy? Do we spend some private moments for prayer, so that we are never away from the wavelength of Christ?
In our community life. Do we help in the healing of wounds in all its forms? Do we bring estranged people together? Do we insist on the value of spending time together as a family or as a group of friends? Do we participate in common activities whether as organizers or members of our own local community?
In our life as citizens of our country. This can take many small forms such as promoting order like following traffic rules and talking to others about the beauty of our culture. (Check Alex Lacson’s 12 Little Things We Can Do For Our Country)
And in our global world. Do we participate in our effort to curtail all forms of human degradation? Do we lend our energies to the protection and care for our environment?
In a culture of individualism where Christ is removed from the center to the sidelines of our lives, the Solemnity of Christ the King gains more relevance. It is to remind ourselves to restore and ‘enthrone’ Christ in the center of our lives.
Thus, the basic attitude is not to be divisive, but to be reconciling. At the end of our lives, what matters is how we have contributed to Christ’s mission of gathering everyone He loves in His Kingdom.