Yes, I am a King

I have very fond memories of celebrating the Feast of Christ the King with some of our parishioners, when we were on pilgrimage in the Holy Land two years ago.

This was in the Parish of the Annunciation, at Beth Jala, which is a part of Bethlehem. It was a most joyous Mass and a large framed picture of Christ the King was processed into the Church at the beginning of Mass and placed on the sanctuary.

In the Gospel of John today, we hear Pilate say, “So you are a king then?”

Jesus answers, “Yes, I am a king.”

Yet he was not a political figure or a ruler in the secular sense.

Questions perhaps we need to ask ourselves today in accepting Jesus are :

  • Is Jesus my king?
  • Do I live my life today listening to the truth?
  • Do I live my life with Christ ruling in my heart?
  • Am I happy for him to rule in my heart as king?

Jesus will only rule where men and women acknowledge and live according to his rule. Jesus is not a king that forces himself on us. He is not a dictator who dominates through conquest. He reveals himself to us and it is up to us to accept the truth of who he is.

And so some more questions for us having Jesus in our lives :

  • What does it mean to have Christ as my king?
  • To what extent am I willing to give my life to be ruled by Jesus ?
  • Is there any area of the my life, any aspect of my life that I withhold from Christ?
  • Do I let Christ have the last word, in my relationships, in my work, my career, the choices I make, in my family, in my friends, in the way I love?

And further questions on how we might demonstrate that Jesus is our king and is in our lives :

  • Am I committed to promoting the reign of God, his kingdom, of carrying his word to an unbelieving world?
  • Am I prepared to promote love, justice and peace?
  • Am I willing to be voice to the voiceless?
  • Am I willing to stand up and be counted?
  • Am I am willing to reach out with compassion to help the poor, the powerless and vulnerable and those on the margins?

It was Pope Pius XI who instituted this feast after the First World War and rise of Communism and Nationalism. This is what he wrote in his encyclical announcing the feast,

“If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone.” (Quas Primas, 33)

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest