One way of understanding the significance of the Feast of Christ the King is to recall Jesus’ conversation with Pilate shortly before his death. Pilate asked Jesus three questions in an effort to understand how this lowly and humble man could even remotely be associated with kingship. Pilate himself having a taste of royalty, albeit it limited, could not envision such a man as a king. So, he asks Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus does not answer the question but responds with his own question to Pilate. “Are you saying this on your own, or have others been telling you about me?” The back and forth continues with now Pilate asking a second question, “What have you done?” Jesus finally responds in words of kingship, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” Finally, Pilate obviously misunderstanding Jesus asks his third question, “So, then, you are a king?” Jesus tells Pilate that he is not a king in the way he envisions a king, but a king testifying to the truth.
The whole dialogue between Pilate and Jesus points to the fact that the coming of the Kingdom of God is not based on a power exercised over others. Rather, it points to the reality of the Kingdom of God is about love and sacrifice. Christ the King of the Universe, does not, nor has ever used his Kingship for his own personal gain or advantage. Remarkably, the Kingship of Christ exists solely for our advantage, so that we some day we can share his Kingdom.
How can this happen? Simply, the kingship of Christ is the synthesis of the whole salvific act. For when Jesus was on the earth teaching and healing and expelling demons, he was not in his kingly role, he was in his prophetic role. And it was not until his crucifixion that Jesus entered his priestly role by offering himself for the salvation of many. The Resurrection and Ascension ushered in the full Kingship of Christ where he reigns for all eternity.
The kingship of Christ is different from all other kingships because the august rank is offered to all believers and those who are part of his body where Jesus is their head. By the very nature of our baptism, we all have been called to be prophet, priest and king along with Christ. A prophet to proclaim the Word of God in our daily lives; a priest who offers are own sacrifices for the good of the Body of Christ; and, an opportunity to share in his kingship.
It would be a false humility and improper for us to resist this exalted position of in God’s kingdom, because it has nothing to do with power in the way the world understands power. It is rather a power that is derived from being loved by God so deeply and so intimately, he gives us the opportunity to be risen to such a glorious and honored position for all eternity.
Your invitation has been sent, hopefully you are awaiting with excitement and joy, your own coronation into eternal life.
(Photos courtesy of Belvédère)