Today we celebrate the last Sunday in Ordinary time by celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King. The liturgical year symbolizes the history of salvation, and the Solemnity of Christ the King celebrates when, at the end of time, salvation history comes to its fulfillment. We conclude the liturgical year today by remembering when, as John tells us in today’s Second Reading, Christ will come amid the clouds, and all eyes will see him. It is a moment to celebrate that Jesus is the Lord of Life and History. As today’s First Reading reminds us, Jesus is not just Our Lord.
Daniel reminds us that Jesus, after completing His mission on earth, appeared before Our Heavenly Father and “received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion.” When Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin, and the High Priest asked him if he was the Christ, Jesus responded with the very words we have considered in the First Reading today, and in exchange for declaring His kingship, he was beaten, tortured, and nailed to his throne, the Cross. And all these horrors didn’t change the fact that he was the Lord of Life and History, a fact we celebrate today.
In the Gospel today, Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world, and that he had come to it to testify to the truth. Those who belong to the truth hear his voice. Those who belong to the truth let Christ reign in their lives, even Christ crucified, because he is truly our King. This is why we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come!” whenever we recite the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus received his Kingship by suffering and dying on the cross and fulfilling his mission, His Father invested him with eternal life. We see the glory of his kingship in the Resurrection, and we know that the reign of eternal life and love will come for each of us, if we belong to the truth and hear Jesus’ voice.
The Second Reading today also speaks of that day when Our Lord returns and everyone, good and bad, will see Him: the Last Judgment at the end of the world. After Jesus’ resurrection, before he ascended to His Heavenly Father, he only appeared to those who had believed in Him. In the eyes of the world he had suffered, died, and disappeared. St. John reminds us in the Second Reading that the day will come when Jesus returns and all will see him, including those who pierced him. Everyone will see him at the end of salvation history, good and bad. If Jesus is the Lord of Life and History, what will happen to those who persist in their rebellion, who do not let Him reign in their lives? It is a call for all of us to pray and sacrifice for those far from God.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us see how, in our day to day life, we can be be true witnesses to God’s love so that the desire that Christ’s Kingdom Come be reflected in our actions as well as our words. May His Kingdom Come.
Readings: Daniel 7:13–14; Psalm 93:1–2, 5; Revelation 1:5–8; John 18:33b–37.