In Christian art there are two variations of Christ the King. One shows Jesus in priestly garments wearing a jeweled crown, a glorious and victorious king. The other depiction of Jesus comes from the passion accounts of the gospels. Jesus mocked as king of the Jews, wearing a soldier’s purple cloak and a painful, shameful crown of thorns. Both depictions are true depictions of Christ the King.
Kings rule over kingdoms and every day we pray ‘thy kingdom come’. But what do we mean by these words, thy kingdom come’. We are asking that God’s kingdom, God’s reign come to that part of me which has yet to be redeemed. Thy kingdom come and transform those attitudes of mind, those bad habits that hold me in their grip, my ways of relating to other people that are lacking, my neglect of God and the things of God, all those things in my life that still resist the transforming love of Christ my king. As we will hear in the preface of today’s Mass, Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Christ’s kingdom is a kingdom of life and truth, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice love and peace.
I read these powerful words just recently and I want to pass them on to you:
“The Kingdom of God is a space. It exists in every home where parents and children love each other. It exists in every region and country that cares for its weak and vulnerable. It exists in every parish that reaches out to the needy.
The Kingdom of God is a time. It happens whenever someone feeds a hungry person, or shelters a homeless person, or shows care to a neglected person. It happens whenever we overturn an unjust law, or correct an injustice, or avert a war. It happens whenever people join in the struggle to overcome poverty, to erase ignorance, to pass on the faith.”
Every day in some small way we are challenged to bring about the reality of Christ’s kingdom of truth and life, Christ’s kingdom of holiness and grace, Christ’s kingdom of justice, love and peace in our lives and in the lives of others.
Whenever we accept the dignity of another person regardless of their race or culture or faith or lifestyle we bring Christ’s kingdom of love into that relationship. Whenever we support efforts to feed hungry men, women and children we bring Christ’s kingdom of justice into that effort. Whenever we let go of past hurts and heal our broken relationships we bring Christ’s kingdom of love and peace into our lives. Whenever we will not tolerate bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia in our circle of friends again we bring Christ’s kingdom of justice, love and peace into that circle. Whenever we try to keep Christ’s new commandment, ‘love one another as I have loved you’ we bring Christ’s kingdom into that part of our lives which has yet to be redeemed.
Whenever we support causes that recognize the dignity and rights of life in all its stages we bring Christ’s kingdom of life to our society. Whenever we make any effort to cut back on our consumerism or become more conscious of the woundedness of Earth we bring Christ’s kingdom of holiness and grace into our lives. Whenever we open our lives to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ and try to follow him more faithfully then we are in the kingdom of Christ.
The Kingdom of God is a condition, an attitude of living. Its symptoms are love, justice, and peace. Whenever these conditions are part and parcel of our lives and all our relationships then Christ’s kingdom is working in that part of our lives which has yet to be redeemed.
As we continue to celebrate this Mass and this feast and say again the Our Father may we all be blessed to have Christ’s kingdom come to that part of our lives which has yet to be redeemed.