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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Reflection/Homily: 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C/Solemnity of Christ the King (November 25 2013)

Reflection/Homily: 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C/Solemnity of Christ the King (November 25 2013)
Theme: Following Jesus who Reigns on a Cross

On this last Sunday in Ordinary Time of the Year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King. This solemnity was established by Pope Pius XI in his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas (On the Feast of Christ the King). It was established as an antidote to secularism in order to make Christians more conscious and convinced of the kingship and supremacy of Christ over all created things. 

When Saul, the first king of Israel lost favour in the sight of God, David was chosen by God to replace him. The Prophet Nathan anointed him secretly in Bethlehem and for fear of Saul, David ran to Hebron where he settled. As we saw in the first reading (2 Sam. 5:1-3), the tribe of Judah came to David at Hebron and requested that he rules over them. They also anointed him King as a public demonstration that they have accepted him as their king.David ruled over Judah for seven years and six months and over all Israel for thirty-three years. God was happy with his reign and through the Prophet Nathan promised to establish his throne forever (cf. 2 Sam. 7:16).

Speaking of establishing the throne of David forever, the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied that a time was coming when the Lord will raise up for David a righteous branch who would reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the Land. To confirm this Davidic typology, the Angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that the child she was to conceive “shall be known as the Son of the Most High, and the Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and his kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:32-33). This prophesy was fulfilled in the life of Jesus and the Gospel reading (Luke 23:35-43) in narrating the event of his passion, confirmed Christ as King.

Today, we are invited to acknowledge Christ as our King, to know him more clearly, love him more dearly and more especially, to follow him more nearly. In following Christ as citizens of his kingdom, we have to pay special attention to the cross. Most Christians today, instead prefer a cross-less Christ to our Crucified Jesus. The Cross for us is not a symbol of hopelessness but a sign of victory that at the end, all those who persevere will be victorious. This understanding is very pertinent for us especially at this time when the deceitful gospel of prosperity is making waves. We have to be on guard so that we do not get caught in its web.

Beloved friends, today the Church wants us to follow the Jesus who reigns on the cross and following him means carrying our crosses too. St Rose of Lima warns us that without the cross, there might be no other ladder by which we might climb to heaven. The Cross is not only the identity of our King but also of his followers.For most of us, Christ is king only when business is growing, riches are flowing in and life becomes very comfortable for us. We tend to lose sight of the kingship of Christ when life becomes challenging and then we give room for other alternatives. The kingdom of God exists in our lives each time we do the will of God.

What is your attitude when persecutions and hardship befall you? What do you do when the demands of the society contradicts your faith in God? Do you abandon your faith at difficult moments?  This is not an invitation for self-induced suffering or for culpable suffering. Rather, it is an invitation to sacrifice, love, tolerance and service to God through humanity. Today’s solemnity should increase your faith in Jesus even when what you observe in the world tends to discourage you. As the second reading (Col. 1:12-20) reminds us, Jesus is true God and true man, the image of the invisible God. All things were created through him and for him. Since he reigns supreme over all creatures, let us give him an opportunity to truly  reign in our lives by avoiding all sinful actions, thoughts and words in order to do his will. Happy Sunday. God loves you.

**Please do say a prayer for me as I mark the two years anniversary of Uwakwe Reflections next Sunday** 

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