Solemnity of ‘Christ the King’:Year C.
Commentary Theme for this Sunday:
“A King Who Never Condemns Anybody.”
Today we celebrate Christ our anointed King who overcame suffering and death and so brought us out of darkness into his ‘Kingdom of Light’.
The first reading tells us how David, after defeating all his enemies, was anointed king over all of Israel. His kingdom great and powerful became the symbol of peace and justice that God would one day establish on earth.
The Gospel gives us the answer to expectations which people found disappointing, because Jesus was not proclaimed king as he sat on a golden throne, but when he was nailed on the Cross.
The second reading tells us that Jesus’ victory is a victory of love, not of arrogance and violence. Love is the greatest power in the universe; because God is love and love comes from God.
We end Year C and the liturgical cycle of three years with the image of ‘Jesus forgiving everybody’. We must keep going out into the world to announce and proclaim the ‘Good News’ and that the love of Christ is greater than our sins!
It is recommended that the actual readings are first studied and then meditated upon with a prayer to the Holy Spirit to grant you the gift of ‘wisdom’ to understand the meaning of the messages of Love, Forgiveness and the Offer of Salvation that the Lord has for each one of us in the Holy Bible. These commentaries, which have been extracted and summarised for our meditation are from the published works of priests who have by their Divine inspiration become acclaimed scholars of the Scriptures and generally reflect the Church’s understanding of the readings. These commentaries are not meant to replace the Sunday Homily at Holy Mass but are provided as an additional guide to assist and further enhance our understanding of the Sunday Liturgical Readings. ‘Daily Reflections’ and a Prayer are included to enable us to ‘Live the Word’ during the week following the Sunday Mass. We will begin to understand the meaning of gratuitous love and our life’s true purpose. Through His Word we will follow the Light to help fulfil the mission that has been given to each one of us by our Creator.
“Allow the Spirit of God to break the chains that keep us from understanding and accepting the word of God.”
2 Samuel 5:1-3.
David had come a long way from tending sheep and playing his harp. He was a shepherd from Bethlehem before he was called to the court of King Saul. His job was to play the kind of music that would entice the king out of his fits of depression. He proved more than just a musician; he killed the giant Goliath and distinguished himself in battle. King Saul however became increasingly nervous at David’s success and popularity among the people and therefore planned to kill him. David was forced to flee and started his own guerrilla movement in the Judean hills, where he remained a fugitive until the death of Saul. When Saul died, David was promoted from being a criminal to being the king of Judah, the strongest of the tribes in the south.
David had his eye on the northern tribes and their territory, and after seven years he was accepted as the king of Israel. King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord. With the kinship established, kingship is conferred, and they anointed David, king over Israel.” When David was chosen king over Israel, God declared him to be both ‘commander and shepherd’. David proved to be a good king, yet he abused his authority in causing the death of Uriah, a soldier, so he could have Uriah’s wife. The kings who succeeded David, with a few exceptions were not good kings. They brashly abused their authority. One king of David’s line, Jesus of Nazareth, did not abuse his authority. Rather, he became the servant of all.
The people of Israel at the time of Jesus had only one dream: the restoration of the powerful kingdom of David, and thus to become once again rulers of the world. They prayed daily to the Lord to send them a Messiah, who would fulfil their great dream and ambition. Why are we told this story on the feast of ‘Christ the King’? It is because Jesus is God’s reply to the prayers and expectations of his people. Why did the people of Israel not welcome him and accept him? We will be told the reason in today’s Gospel.
Psalm 122:1-2, 4-5.
The Psalm is one of the lovely pilgrimage songs, a song of rejoicing as the pilgrims arrive in God’s holy city of Jerusalem. With astonishment and joy the psalmist sings ‘Our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem’. Then comes a pause, as he admires the city’s architectural merits – but we cannot go long without a reminder of why Jerusalem is important: ‘they go up there, Yah’s tribes: it is a command for Israel, to praise YHWH’s name’. Finally we come back to David, ‘for there the thrones live, for justice, thrones for the house of David’. For the Christian, the security and refreshment that it offered the pilgrim, now comes from the heavenly Jerusalem where Christ, as the ‘Lamb’, has his throne with God (Rv 22:1).
In the second reading, Paul reminds all the Colossians of what God has done for them (and for all of us) through Jesus Christ. The Father “has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
The hymn, which follows, identifies Jesus who died in mockery on the Cross, with the One in whom the fullness of God dwelt and who became the means of redemption and reconciliation for all creation. The first part celebrates the primacy of Christ over the whole of creation. The second proclaims that Christ is the first also in the new creation since he was the first to overcome death and open up the way to God for all.
When Luke comes to tell the story of Jesus he is careful to present Jesus in kinship with a particular people in their history. Jesus is born into a tradition. The angel Gabriel announces to Mary: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob forever and his kingdom will have no end.” When Jesus is born, the birth takes place in “the town of David called Bethlehem.” Jesus is of royal lineage, but he will refuse to occupy any throne.
After being baptized by John in the Jordan River he begins his public life and is tempted in the desert. One of the temptations was to exercise power and authority over the kingdoms of this world. Rather than establish a kingdom that is not of this world, Satan tries to tempt Jesus to govern an existing kingdom, this world. This is not Jesus’ way. He resists the authority of domination, the power that exalts itself and exults in itself. Jesus’ way is along the path of love, compassion, humility and selflessness. He tells his followers: ‘Among the pagans it is the kings who lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title of Benefactor’. With you this must not happen. (Luke 22:25f).
It is fitting then that Jesus should end up between two criminals, between the kinds of people he sought out in his ministry. Throughout his ministry Jesus shared his forgiveness; he dies breathing it. He dies as he lived, reaching out to the distressed on either side of him. In the midst of his own agony he still has time for others. The crown he wears is of thorns; the throne he has is the Cross; his royal banner is a scribbled sign that he is the ‘King of the Jews’ [I.N.R.I.]. Jesus as God’s Son was the model on which the goodness of
Creation was established. His humanity revealed the ‘divine model of love’ by which all humankind were not only made, but also redeemed and healed out of God’s mercy and compassion.
The Gospel is giving us the answer of God to those who were disappointed that Here are seven detox homemade detox drinks you can try:1. Jesus was not proclaimed king to sit on a golden throne, but instead was nailed to a Cross. This is how Jesus defeated his enemies. His victory is the ‘victory of love’, not of ‘arrogance, violence and worldly power’. The thoughts of God are not like our thoughts; his ways are not our ways. The heart of God is different, very different from ours. He loves the upright and the wicked in the same measure and does not wish anybody to be lost.
The great news (Good News) we must proclaim: is that the love of Christ is greater than our sins. ‘This is the Gospel image of royalty: the king and the criminal who go together into paradise.’ This is the King we celebrate and whose values we as Christians are pledged to live by. ‘May his Kingdom come’. On the Cross, he manifested his love for us in the highest degree. Can there be a sin that is stronger than and that can resist the love of Christ?
‘Jesus Christ is a King who never condemns anybody’! His rule is seeking the lost, offering salvation to those who call out to him, and making friends of enemies.
“Today, Jesus’ rule of love is our task”.
‘Acknowledgement and Thanks’ to ‘Recommended Source Material’ by:
Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Fr. Fernando Armellini SCI, Peter Edmonds SJ, Richard Baawobr M.Afr, Joseph A. Slattery Ph.D, Adelmo Spagnolo MCCJ, Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap, J.E. Spicer CSsR, John R. Donahue SJ and Alice Camille – Master’s degree in Divinity.
Reflections for each day this Week:
Almighty God and Father, on the … of the week following
The Feast of ‘Christ the King’ Year C, we reflect on …
Sun. … David led his people to an unprecedented level of power and prosperity. He was a man of great sins, but one who was also fundamentally faithful to God and much loved by the Lord. We too can do great things if we are faithful to the Lord and allow his love and grace to guide us in the ‘Way’. Mon. … The years of David’s rule (and those of his son Solomon) became the grand old times that the people of Judah and Israel looked back on with gratitude and nostalgia. God’s love and covenant will too remain steadfast for us. Can we say the same for our love and our covenant with God? Tues. … When the nation began to split apart and decline after the death of Solomon, they looked forward to a new king, like David, who would bring the people back to power and prosperity. Many centuries later, people thought that Jesus might be this messianic king. Let us meditate what we expect from the Messiah. What is the basis of our messianic hope? Wed. … Paul reminds the Colossians of what God had done for them through Jesus. Do we fully understand what Jesus has done for each and every one of us? Let us reflect on what we can do to show our love and appreciation by serving others. Thur. … After being baptized by John in the Jordan River, Jesus is tempted for 40 days in the desert. One of the temptations was to exercise power and authority over the kingdoms of this world. This was not Jesus’ way. He resists the authority of domination. By walking in his ‘Way’ of self-sacrifice and love, let us pray that Jesus will remember us when we come into his Kingdom. Frid. … There was no pomp and ceremony as the ‘God of Love’ emptied himself on the Cross on Calvary. The only exercise of kingship from the Cross was an exercise of ‘compassion’. Let us pray and give thanks for the Spirit’s power in the Church today and the kind of kingship that Jesus exercised from the Cross. Sat. …The image of ‘Christ the King’
that today’s Gospel puts before us confronts us with the reality of the Gospel – a reality that may not fit very well with the values some of us have chosen to live by. When we have concluded our journey of faith in this world let us pray that we will hear Christ say to us, “Today, you will be with me in paradise”!
Prayer after the Daily Reflection.
Heavenly Father, today we are presented with a king seemingly in disgrace, hanging between two criminals. May we come to realize in the Resurrection of our Lord that the sacrifice of love conquers all things. Lord, we pray for this gratuitous love.
This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.
Compliments: Bible Discussion Group.
Our Lady of the Wayside, Maryvale.
“Discovering the Truth through God’s living Word”.