THE KINGSHIP OF CHRIST

THEME: THE KINGSHIP OF CHRIST
READINGS: Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33-37
Solemnity of Christ the King

Introduction

Asked by Pilate whether He was the King of the Jews, our Lord Jesus Christ declared that His kingship is not of this world (cf. John 18:33-36). This means, among other things, that the origin of His kingship is not from this world, its jurisdiction is unmeasurable, His dominion is incomparable, His kingdom and its glory are everlasting.

The origin of Christ’s kingship is not from this world

Some earthly kings may claim that their kingship originates from God. They are right if they were chosen in accordance with the will of God (cf. Rom. 13:1-6). This notwithstanding, their elections or ascensions to the throne involved human processes. The origin of the kingship of Jesus Christ is, however, entirely otherworldly. He is king by nature. That is, because He is the Son of God through whom everything was created (cf. John 1:1-3), all creation is subject to Him (cf. Col. 1:15-18; Eph. 1:20-23).

The jurisdiction of Christ’s kingship is unmeasurable

In the vision of Daniel, according to today’s first reading, the jurisdiction or the extent of the kingship of One like the Son of Man is described: “to Him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him” (Dan. 7:14). Similarly, in the second reading, Christ is acclaimed as “the ruler of kings on earth” (Rev. 1:5). However awesome these descriptions of the extent of the kingship of Christ may be, they do not give us its full picture. This is because His kingship is not only over this earth, but the whole physical universe (including parts that scientists are yet to discover) as well as the entire invisible part of creation (including heaven). In short, the “area” under the kingship of Christ is simply unmeasurable.

Christ’s dominion is incomparable

The sum of the dominions or authorities of all the kings or rulers in the past, present and future of humankind would be a mere fraction of a percentage of the dominion of Christ. His dominion is absolute in every way. That is, He is almighty. Thus, it is written of Him, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8). Furthermore, unlike earthy kings whose dominion are terminated by death, He, who is the Alpha and Omega, has power over death (cf. Rev. 1:5,8) and so His dominion is forever (cf. Dan. 7:14; Rev. 1:6).

Whereas dominion or power could corrupt kings or rulers, with Christ it is exercised to perfection for the benefit of His subjects. This is because it is exercised with divine love which is unconditional, selfless and sacrificial. Thus, we read: He “loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood” (Rev. 1:5). This is simply incomparable dominion.

Christ’s kingdom and its glory are everlasting

In the vision of Daniel, we read that the “kingdom … shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14). In other words, the kingdom of Christ is everlasting. This is because Christ, who is divine, has conquered death and lives forever. For the same reason, the glory of Christ and by extension the glory of His kingdom are everlasting (cf. Rev. 1:6).

Conclusion

Beloved, the above is merely a feeble attempt to explain the fact that the kingship of Christ is not of this world. An important note, though, is that He whose kingship originates from above, and it is forever almighty over the visible and invisible creation, and whose kingdom and its glory are everlasting, will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead (cf. Rev. 1:7). Let us, therefore, submit to His rule in this life by trusting in Him and obeying His Word. Then, we shall reign with Him forever in His heavenly kingdom. Amen.

By Very Rev. Fr. John K. Louis

Fr. John Louis

Very Rev. Fr. John Kobina Louis is a priest of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana. More about him here.

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Catholic Homilies and Sermons for the liturgical year by Rev. Fr. Dr. John Kobina Louis of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.