This Sunday we come to the end of what we call the ‘liturgical year.’ We call this Sunday the feast of Christ the King. We see two images of Christ in today’s reading. In the second reading Paul gives us his vision of the Cosmic Christ. “Christ is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created; things visible and things invisible – all things were created through him and for him. Christ is before all things and in him all things hold together – for in Christ the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things.”
In the gospel we see the Christ who emptied himself of his divinity and took to himself our humanity, becoming like us in all things. We see Christ humiliated and brought low, crowned with thorns and ridiculed by the very people he came to save. His throne was the cross, his title, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Even in his debased state Jesus is still the image of the invisible God, in him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things to himself.
Christ is a total reversal of the roles usually assigned to royalty and servitude. He refuses to be the master of the world, the mighty monarch, the spiller of blood. His reign subverts our notion of kingship. Christ is the king who serves the other. He is the king who dies for the other. He is the king who is ridiculed, scorned, and mocked. Most insufferable, most repugnant of all, is the fact that he is a powerless sovereign. As Paul discovered in his ministry, Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews was foolish to the Greeks and a scandal to the Jews.
In the preface of today’s feast we state publicly what Christ’s kingdom is all about; Christ’s kingdom is a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.
At this Mass and at every Mass, we pray the Our Father and in that prayer we pray, ’thy kingdom come’. We plea, Thy kingdom come to that part of me which has yet to be redeemed. Thy kingdom come to that part of my life, that part of my living and relating to others which is still lacking in truth and life, still lacking in holiness and grace, still lacking in justice, love and grace.
In talking about his kingdom Jesus often used examples of growth, the kingdom is like a mustard seed, the kingdom is like yeast in a piece of dough. That’s why we pray, ‘thy kingdom come’ because we try to spend our lives growing in the likeness of Christ, growing in his kingdom of truth and life, holiness and grace, justice love and peace and as always sometimes we win and sometimes we fail but always we pray ‘thy kingdom come’.