by Fr Peterson Muriithi
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KING OF THE UNIVERSE
THEME: A KING WHO CONDEMNS NOBODY
As we end year C and the liturgical cycle of three years, I am reminded of the many sermons that I have listened to since I was young, whereby our priests always used to point out that this is the time that we need to take our stock of life just as we do with our businesses at the end of the year. It is the time where we need to look back and ask ourselves questions that will help us evaluate how we lived the concluded liturgical year, celebrate and thank God for allowing us to see the end of this liturgical year and indeed the year 2019. It is the time that we need to evaluate our relationship with God not forgetting to look into our relationships with the others. How did I live the commandment of love given to us by Jesus Christ?
When we hear the term “KING” we often think of someone who has power and rules over many people, someone who never lacks anything and especially when we talk of material things, a courageous person who leads people to war with the enemies, an untouchable person who is always surrounded by soldiers in order to protect his royalty and dignity as the king. Whenever a King is mentioned we cannot avoid thinking of his Kingdom as well.
Today we celebrate a King who is not interested with material wealth but the salvation of souls, a King with no soldiers offering protection but open to physical suffering, emotional torture and humiliation for the sake of humanity and finally a king whose kingdom is not of the world but heavenly.
Looking at the first reading, David is anointed King not only because he was the chosen one of God but also because people saw his capability in leading people to war, he defeated their enemies in order to have lasting peace. David’s kingdom became a symbol of that perfect kingdom that Israelites awaited for and indeed all of us. A kingdom where Justice and peace becomes ingredients for our everyday living. However, this type of kingdom that we have just mentioned cannot be realised with only one man’s effort but with the cooperation and contribution of every single person. It is a kingdom whereby each and every person focuses on what they can do for the kingdom and not so much on what the kingdom can do for them, not so much on how Justice can be done to me but how I can be just to others, not so much of how everybody can love and respect me but how I can love and uphold family Spirit. This reading challenges us to look into our lives and ask ourselves whether we are part of those building God’s perfect kingdom depicted here or we are working hard to demolish that very kingdom that we live in by inflicting pain on others and destroying what God has created and given to us out of Love and for Love.
As we mentioned earlier, today we talk of Jesus as the king and the prince of peace, he is the king who was proclaimed king on the cross and not on the seat of throne as it should be. He is a King who accepted to shed blood for you and me, his kingdom has no end. By his death on the cross love prevailed, He gave us a priceless gift of peace, he overcame all forms of violence and attacks to the kingdom of God that we invite everyday as we pray the prayer of “Our Father.” When the kingdom of God is with and within us, it means Jesus is in us and among us. Just as the child of a King would not lack anything, we too being sons and daughters of the most high, should be happy because He cares about the welfare of each and every one of us. Jesus came to bring light in the world and to overthrow the kingdom of Satan so that we may have life and have it in full as we are reminded in (John 10:10). Also in John 3:16, God in His immense love gave us His only begotten son so that we who believe in Him may have eternal life.
In the second reading to the Colossians, St.Paul counts you and me among the lucky ones who have the privilege to be part of this great kingdom of God. Jesus is portrayed as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all that exists, visible and invisible. How lucky are we who take advantage of being the sons and daughters in the kingdom of God by living authentic lives and enjoying the fruits of peace, love, joy, forgiveness, tranquillity and all the good things that we find in the everlasting kingdom of God. However, sometimes we choose to live in suffering by willingly choosing to live in other enticing but deceiving “kingdoms” apart from the one and only kingdom of our living God. For instance we abandon the church where we are fed with the word, body and blood of Christ and we live in hunger and want. Some of us have chosen the kingdom of Money and wealth, oppression, abuse, unforgiveness, loose lives, hate, killing and many other weak kingdoms that will not last because by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, all other satanic kingdoms were destroyed.
However, all is not lost because Jesus always offers us opportunities to change and return to Him. His hands are always stretched out to reach out to us and pull us out of the misleading and destructive kingdoms that we find ourselves in. Just as the repentant thief in the Gospel of today, we are invited to look at the cross from where our salvation comes and ask Jesus to remember us in His everlasting Kingdom by forgiving us our sins. It is never too late to escape from the eternal damnation into the everlasting life. We just need to say yes to God, as one who is Baptised and sent.
Wishing you a blessed Sunday of Christ the King of the universe.