Nov 22 – Solemnity of Christ The King (falls on 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Christ The King is a title of Jesus based on several passages of scripture and used by all Christians. The name is found in various forms in scripture: King Eternal (1 Timothy 1:17), King of Israel (John 1:49), King of the Jews (Matthew 27:11), King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16), King of the Ages (Revelation 15:3), and Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Revelation 1:5).
Many denominations including Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and some Lutherans and Methodists celebrate the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday of the liturgical year.
The ideological movement of Christ’s Kingship was addressed in Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quas Primas (“In The First”). In it, he quotes with approval St. Cyril of Alexandria, noting that Jesus’ Kingship is not obtained by violence: “Christ has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature.”
Pope Benedict XVI has remarked that Christ’s Kingship is not based on “human power” but on loving and serving others. The perfect exemplar of that acceptance is the Virgin Mary, he pointed out. Her humble and unconditional acceptance of God’s will in her life, the Pope noted, was the reason that “God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth”.
1 Cor 15:20-26,28
…for everything is to be put under his feet.
Three years ago, I was blessed to have taken part in a worship session at a conference organised by the Catholic Business Network. Called Christ@Work, it was a full-day conference featuring a keynote speaker from the US, as well as sharings by various Catholic business leaders here in Singapore.
The keynote presentations were extremely insightful and focussed on spiritual leadership at the workplace. Delivered by a former Jesuit who used to run the offices of a large financial organisation in various countries (including Singapore), I was inspired by his thoughts on what makes a good leader, especially the way he got the audience of around 600 to share their ideas openly.
At the end of the day, as Christians, we are ALL called to lead in one way or another. The fact that we are created means that God already has a plan for us and we are on a mission here on earth. Problem is, most of us let life get in the way and, in many cases, we start attributing the wealth and success we attain along the way to our own self. As one esteemed speaker recalled, the more successes he achieved, the worse his relationship with God became. Until one day, when his business failed and he had lost a huge amount of money, he attended Life In the Spirit Seminar and discovered a small praying community, which helped his get back on his feet.
Brothers and sisters, today we celebrate Christ the King. If we acknowledge that Christ is indeed our King, then surely we have to acknowledge that we are His servants. Whether we are leaders, business owners, or in positions of authority or power, we are but subjects of an all-powerful, infinitely loving and merciful God. And we have been put here to do His will. What that is for each and every one of us can take a lifetime to discover, or for some of us, we may have already discerned His purpose for us. I believe that He called me to serve through my music ministry all those years ago, and that He will be calling me again and again to worship Him openly.
Back then, I was also encouraged to play the violin for one of the mass songs. It was the first time in nearly 40 years that I was going to be playing on stage again; only this time, I had no score to refer to! But as I played the communion hymn, I felt a strong stirring in my heart to just allow God to flow through me and to cast aside my fears, to put everything into His hands. I think He is leading me on yet another journey, and I ask for your prayers to fully trust in His will.
(Today’s Oxygen by Desmond Soon)
Prayer – Jesus, our Saviour and King, we acknowledge your mighty and awesome presence in our lives. We trust that you will always know what is best for us and that your infinite graces will always save us from any harm.
Thanksgiving – Thank You Father, for your loving presence in our lives.
What a wonderful gently thought provoking reflection. Thank you! And mighty prayers for you as you continue your walk and discerning of forks in the road!