The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, Phillip?
My brothers and Sisters, as Holy Mother Church comes to the end of this year’s Liturgical Season, it is important to thank the God Almighty, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, for bringing us together this Sunday when we celebrate the kingship of Christ – the Solemnity of Christ the King, the Universal King. To appreciate the divine origin of Christ’s kingship, let us examine a few verses in the Book of Gospels: “Lord,” said Thomas, “we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and tme truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, carrying out His work. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me - or at least believe because of the works themselves.” (John 14: 5-11)
Again, the Gospel of Matthew tells us, “After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3: 16 – 17)
In the Gospel of Matthew this Sunday, we are invited to reflect deeply about the kingship of Christ and take it to heart seriously. We are called to ask ourselves certain pertinent questions: how do we see Jesus and who do we believe He is? Is He the Universal king or someone else? If we see Jesus as the Universal king, then we must pay close and honest attention to his instructions. This Sunday Gospel tells us, “… as Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” To know Jesus as the Universal king does not mean the absence of persecutions and sacrifices for our beliefs? The sufferings of our brother Christians around the world; the persecutions going on daily in our families, parishes, dioceses, states, nations, society, nations and world at large does not deny the Universal kingship of Christ, rather it makes it more real and meaningful. If you must be my disciple, Jesus said, you must carry your cross daily and follow me. I don’t think this injunction means fun and a bed of roses. It means that the way of Christ is diametrically different from the way of this world, hence, his kingship is different from the kind of the territorial dominance, that his earliest followers expected. So, we go through trials and pain for our faith to remain faithful, but always do it with absolute focus on the Lord. Dear brethren, it is important that we ask ourselves at the end of this Liturgical Season: how have I followed Jesus instructions? Have I been faithfully striving to be on his right hand? Or have I been following my own will, willfully? Am I taking God’s mercy and love for granted or am I beating my chest like the publican (sinner), asking for His forgiveness at the sacrament of reconciliation, and presume God’s kindness as an entitlement? It will be helpful to have these questions, brothers and sisters, as our guides when we enter the Advent Season next Sunday.