The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice”
For many of us today, a King is like a fairy tale figure from the past. Royal weddings and great palaces make it hard for us to imagine the title “king” being given to Jesus. Yet in today’s Gospel, Jesus himself accepts the title of king, but a very different kind of king.
In Jesus’s time, God was understood to be the only real King of Israel. All of Israel’s kings were subject to God, just like any other Israelite. A good king would be like David, a shepherd boy filled with faith, ready to give his life for his people, or like Solomon, who only asked God for wisdom to lead his people well. He would be obedient to God and a servant to God’s people. He would be the messiah who would reconcile his people with God and establish God’s everlasting Kingdom on earth. Therefore, Jesus as a nonpolitical, nonnational king, proclaiming a spiritual kingdom, was something that neither Pilate nor the Jewish leaders of his time could fully appreciate. He decidedly was not a worldly king but rather a king who came into the world to testify to the truth. That was a disappointment to many of his Jewish followers but should not have been a threat the Sanhedrin or to Pilate who supposedly was looking for the truth but then condemned Jesus for speaking it.
Jesus declares: “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice”. His voice proclaimed a holy kingdom of justice, dignity, equality, inclusion, compassion, forgiveness and healing based on faith in a loving God who is parent to all of humanity and that living those values would bring peace to the world. We proclaim him as our King. We are to listen to his voice and live the values he taught us by not only his words but also through his Passion, death and resurrection. If we call him our King, we are challenged to live the truth of his Gospel and work each day for the salvation of the world.
By Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC