Theme: AT THE END OF THE WORLD, JESUS CHRIST WILL BE THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE
1. Today is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King! We celebrate the feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday of the Liturgical year, because we believe that at the end of the world, Jesus Christ will be the King of the universe! His Kingdom will be a Kingdom of love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation, peace and justice, unity and joy, etc. The kingdom of the Devil will be destroyed! The kingdom of sin and death, injustice and hatred, division, revenge and war, will be destroyed!
The first reading tells us that David was anointed king of the northern tribes of Israel. In this second anointing, David became king, not only of Judah, but also of Israel, that is, he became king of the united kingdom of Judah (South) and Israel (North). After that David conquered Jerusalem and made it the capital of his united kingdom! (2 S 5:6-12; CCB)
David was anointed king because he was chosen by God, and because he was the one who fought and won all the battles even when Saul was king!
2. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us about Jerusalem, the capital of the united kingdom of Israel and Judah! The responsorial psalm is a hymn of a pilgrim on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem!
The responsorial psalm has five verses. The first verse tells us that the pilgrim is anticipating his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The second verse tells us that the pilgrim is already in Jerusalem. The third verse tells us that Jerusalem is a secure city. The fourth verse tells us that the Israelites praise and worship God in Jerusalem. And the fifth verse tells us that the throne of God’s judgment is in Jerusalem. The justice of God is executed by King David and his descendents who sit on the thrones of judgment! (HCSB) Thus the note of joy in the response of the responsorial psalm which is taken from the first verse:
“I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’” (Ps 121 (122): 1; SM)
3. The gospel today tells us that Jesus Christ is the King of the Jews, but unlike David, he has no political power, military might, or nationalistic ambitions! He has no throne. He hangs on a cross!
The Jewish religious leaders mocked him to be the Messiah. The soldiers taunted him to be the king of the Jews. The inscription on his cross condemned him to be the king of the Jews. And even the criminal abused him to be the Messiah. But most importantly, the “good” criminal acknowledged him to be the Messiah-King of the Jews!
In “the gospel within the Gospel” (NJBC) the “good” criminal asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom, and Jesus replied that, that very day he will be with him in paradise, in heaven, in his kingdom! Thus we read in the gospel today:
‘“Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’” (Lk 23:42-43; SM)
Jesus is indeed the King of the Jews! But his kingdom is a kingdom of love, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation! A heavenly and spiritual kingdom; not a political, military and nationalistic kingdom!
4. The second reading tells us that Jesus Christ is not only the king of the Jews, but he is also the king of the Gentiles, the Pagans! More than that, he is not only the king of all humanity, but he is also the King of all creation! Just as creation suffered the consequences of human sins, so creation also shares in the salvation of humanity! (NJB)
This second reading is especially relevant today in the face the ecological crisis! It is the sin and greed of humanity that destroys the environment, but when humanity is saved from sin and greed, the environment will not be destroyed! The environment will be protected! Thus we read in the second reading:
“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” (Col 1:19-20; HCSB)
5. Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us build the kingdom of God, until the end of the world, when Jesus Christ will come a second time to be the King of the universe!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.