Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year B
Psalm 93:1, 1-2, 5 (1a)
November 21, 2021
This is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. We always celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe on this Sunday.
We call Jesus Lord because He is. Historically, earthly lords held great amounts of land or ruled over some people. Jesus is more than that. Jesus is Lord in the divine sense. He is Son of God, consubstantial with the Father.
We call Jesus “King of the Universe.” Why “universe”? Because Jesus is not just king of a limited earthly kingdom. Jesus is king of everything and everywhere.
We call him “king.” However, Jesus did not look like an earthly king as He hung upon the Cross.
We live in a country based on democracy. We elect our leaders by majority rule. We do not elect Jesus as our king. If we did, I wonder if Jesus would get elected? Would you vote for Jesus? Sin is a vote against Jesus.
So, why do we call Jesus “king”?
Jesus does not rule over us like a king who lords his authority over his people to get what he wants. We do not need to fear Jesus holding his power over us.
In fact, Jesus shows us a new model of kingship, one of service. We remember Jesus as the one “who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”
God is the Alpha and the Omega. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last letter. God is the beginning and the end. God is the source of all that is good and God is the end for which we are created. “To him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.”
Where does Jesus get his power from? Daniel tells of his vision with “one like a Son of man coming” to the “Ancient One.” The Ancient One is God. Jesus is the Son of Man. From his Father, Jesus receives “dominion, glory, and kingship.”
Thus, Jesus tells Pilate, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” Jesus’ kingdom is one of “truth and life…holiness and grace…justice, love and peace” (Preface for this solemnity).
Do we listen to Jesus as our king?
With an earthly elected official, if we don’t like them, we wait for the end of their term and hope they don’t get reelected.
Jesus’ “dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.” Jesus is king forever. It’s a good thing He is a good king.
Jesus is our king but He does not force us to be his disciples. We are free to choose to go our own way but if we do, we must understand there are consequences. If we choose to go our own way, we may spend eternity in Hell.
God wants everyone to be in Heaven for eternity. It is the gift He offers us but not everyone accepts the gift. It is not enough to say we believe in Jesus. We must listen to what Jesus says and live according to his Truth.
How well do you know Jesus? How well do you follow Jesus as king?
In her book, Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell offers five thresholds in our journey as disciples of Jesus’ (Weddell, Sherry A., Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus. Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, IN. 2012. For the following see pages 129-130.)
The first is “Initial Trust.” Because of someone they know or an experience they have had, a person is open to the idea that God exists.
The second is “Spiritual Curiosity.” Here, one desires to know more about Jesus but has not accepted him yet as king.
The third is “Spiritual Openness.” Here, one begins to “be open to possibility of personal and spiritual change” (129).
I think all of us who come to church have at least reached the third threshold.
The fourth threshold is “Spiritual Seeking” where a person actively seeks to know God more fully.
The fifth she calls “Intentional Discipleship.” Here, we put God first and reorder our life in accord with his will.
How are you doing? Have you fully accepted Jesus as your king?