The Feast of Christ the King is a response to the alarming rise of 20th century despotism denying God’s absolute and perfect sovereignty. Dictators violently asserted authority over peoples and suspended religious liberties. At the core of this feast, we boldly declare the inherent dignity all people and our corresponding duty to worship the Lord God and Him alone.
The Gospel Reading draws our attention to the inscription placed above the Crucified One. Now it is clear: God’s Kingdom is the Kingdom of Christ. Thus, the ancient cry of the Psalms, “God is King”, is transformed into “Christ is King.”
JESUS CHRIST UNIVERSAL KING
Feast of Christ the King [C]
Instead of a commemoration marked by regality, opulence and extravagance, genuine Christians proclaim a kingship that centers upon the dramatic story of a man nailed to a cross (Luke 23:35-43). The extravagence displayed in the kingship of Christ is the superabunance of love for us and for our salvation.
Throughout the whole of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ kingly identity is witnessed through His relentless pursuit to find and restore those who are lost. Time and again Luke masterfully weaves stories highlighting God’s truth including the lost coin, the lost sheep, the two lost sons, the lost woman who anoints Jesus, the tax-collectors and the Samaritans with whom Jesus dines and to whom He extends mercy.
Even after Jesus has been lifted up on the Cross as King, a further “lost one” comes to into view! Atop Calvary a criminal recognizes Jesus’ ultimate authority and humbly asks of his newfound King: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (v. 42). Jesus replies to him: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (v. .43).
Let Christ the King speak these words to you today and through you inspire others who are lost to look hopefully upon the crucified Jesus as their King.