CHRIST THE KING
Homily for the feast of Christ King of the Universe
November 25, 2012 - Year B
Christ the King
I am sure that most of you must have read the immortal play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. After the assassination of Julius Caesar by Brutus and Cassius, when the body of Caesar lay before the people, it is then that Mark Anthony gave his famous speech reminding the people how much Caesar loved and cared for them.
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him; The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is often interred with their bones
So be it with Caesar.
The noble Brutus has told you that Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault and grievously has Caesar an swered it.
Caesar was my friend, faithful and just to me.
He has brought many captives here to Rome.
Whose ransom did the general coffers fill.”
Then he mentioned Caesar’s will in which he made the Roman citizens his heir.
Often we forget the good and great things people do to us. It took Mark Anthony to remind the Roman citizens of Caesar’s love and care. Then their hearts were set on fire.
My friends, I pray that this morning even our hearts may be set on fire for Jesus. Let us today remind ourselves about the great love, care and power which Christ has bestowed upon us. Today is the last week of the liturgical year. We begin the liturgical year with Advent in December where we eagerly wait for Jesus’ coming and end the season proclaiming Christ as our King. May that which happens liturgically, also happen in our lives: we begin with the search for Christ and end with crowning Him as our King. Christ is the King in three ways. He is the king by blood, by popular acknowledgement and by His deeds.
1) By Blood, Jesus is the King
Jesus descended from the royal lineage of King David. St Matthew at the beginning of his Gospel begins the birth record of Jesus thus: ‘An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham.’ Then he would go down from Abraham through David, through Joseph and finally to Jesus.
When the angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary, he said, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you will name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Lk 1:31—33).”
The birth of Jesus took place at Bethlehem - the birthplace of King David, and the place where David grew up. When Caesar ordered for a census, everybody had to go to his or her ancestral home to be registered. Therefore, Joseph and Mary being the descendents of David went to Bethlehem for registration and Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
2) By Popular Acknowledgement, Jesus is King
The three Wise Men who came from the East, went to Herod and asked him, “Where is the child who is born the king of the Jews? For we have observed his star at it’s rising and have come to pay homage to him(Mt 2:2).” Jesus was recognized and acknowledged as the King even by the three Magi. Even the Good Thief acknowledged Jesus as the King. When Jesus was hanging upon the Cross, the Good Thief prayed to Jesus and said, “ Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom (Lk:23:42).”
3) By His Deeds, Jesus is King
Jesus is the King who tends and cares for us. Jesus is a King with a shepherd’s heart. He once said, “I am the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11) and the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The kings of the world exercise Lordship over their subjects, but Jesus washed His disciples’ feet; earthly monarchs were often tyrants, their yoke was heavy and their language domineering, but it is not so with our King. His yoke is easy and His burden light, for He is meek and lowly of heart.
Jesus the King is the Prince of Peace. He came to bring peace. St.Paul wrote, “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1).” In his letter to the Ephesians (2:14) St.Paul said, “Jesus is our peace.” When there is a storm in our lives, as a piece of wood controls the spilling of water from the pots, so Jesus should be placed in our lives in order to preserve us from spilling over in life.
Jesus the King paid our ransom with His blood. Mark Anthony in his speech said, “Caesar brought many captives home to Rome, whose ransom did the general’s coffers fill.” Jesus too ransomed us, but not with silver and gold, but with something
more precious with His precious blood. Jesus by His death on the cross has freed us from our sins. Mark Anthony said, “I don’t intend to read Caesar’s Will, for your hearts are not wood or stones, not to be moved to mutiny and rage.” Our hearts, too, are not made of wood or stones, not to be moved with love for Jesus when we see the price He paid for our ransom.