A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
July 11, 2020
The Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe
November 21, 2014
Here we are at the last Sunday of the liturgical year and it is fitting that we celebrate Jesus as King of the Universe. Not just king of our world, but king of the whole universe!
This special celebration becomes the bridge between the end of Ordinary Time and the beginning of the season of Advent. And in between we celebrate Thanksgiving. Very appropriate, I'd say.
While most of us never lived under the rule of a king or queen, Thanksgiving month might be a good time to imagine what that would mean. In a human way, it would mean that the king would have absolute power over the people. It would be a monarchy. It would be a dictatorship.
In a spiritual way, it would simply mean that God is in control. He knows what is best for us and governs us with compassionate fairness. He is a just ruler who allows us to use our free will to choose how we will live our lives. But there is the rub. If we choose to live our lives wrongly; sinfully and without contrition, we just might find ourselves outside of the kingdom looking in. If we choose to live rightly; giving ourselves over to doing His will and making amends for the wrong we have done, we have the sure promise of eternal life in heaven.
Over the head of Jesus on the cross we often see a scroll with the letters INRI. At the time of the Crucifixion, Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire. Latin uses “I” instead of “J” and “V” instead of “U” and so the actual script that Pontius Pilate used probably looked something like this: Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex iudaeorum or: Jesus, the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.
As you will recall from the reading of the Passion during Holy Week, Pilate answered his critics: “What I have written, I have written!” when they told him he should have written: “this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” Do you think Pilate had a vision?
As Catholic Christians, we sing our praise to God, our heavenly king and ruler of all nations. We fully acknowledge His kingship and pray that we will one day enter the kingdom and “be with Him in paradise.”