The Reign of Jesus is Not of This World
Today is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. When we think of kings, we often think of golden crowns, fine robes, palaces, scepters, or an image like we see on the cover of our bulletin. However, the gospel scene presented to us today shows a different king. Christ the King rules from the throne of the cross, an instrument of death and torture. He stands before the world, naked and vulnerable, his only adornment, a crown of thorns. Jesus Christ is indeed a very different kind of king with a different reign.
This liturgical celebration is a rather new one, having only been established by Pope Pius XI in 1925. The nineteenth century was a time of the peak of the Age of Enlightenment. In Europe, the ideologies of Fascism, and Socialism which would give birth to Communism were running rampant. Secularism was on the rise, even in North America. In Mexico, priests were being killed for the crime of celebrating the Holy Mass. The role of the Pope as a head of state had come to an end, as the Papal States had fallen fifty years before. The World, as it always is, was chaotic. We as a Church needed a reminder that in the midst of all of this mess, Jesus Christ is King.
We live in a world where moral relativism, which teaches that moral truths are created by the individual, holds a dictatorship over the masses. Socialism is again on the rise. Reactionary “Alt-Right” groups have formed promoting racism, nativism, and other radical ideologies. Christians are called bigots. The gospel is used as a weapon to oppress, and more and more people are turning away from Christ in favor of new flavors of simulated spirituality.
Yet, Christ reigns as King. He reminds us that his reign is not of this world, as in this world, he is crucified. We all await the day when he reigns in glory. We begin to help usher in his glorious reign by letting him now, at this time, reign in our hearts. To do this we must let Jesus Christ take first place in our life. This means that we cannot place Jesus into political ideologies. If “your Jesus” is Republican or Democrat, you are not following Christ the king, but are rather making a political party the King of Christ. The reign of Jesus is not of this world, so let us stop placing Jesus in worldly categories! Instead let us begin to shape our worldview, our vision and our lives all under his reign. Let us plant the Cross of Jesus Christ in the center of our lives and place everything else under it, so that Christ may have first place in our heart and in our lives. It is only when we have done this, that we will truly be able to boldly proclaim: “Long Live Christ the King!”