Today, if you couldn’t tell from the readings and the repeated mentions of thrones and kings, is the Solemnity of Christ the King. Very few of us have ever lived under a monarchy. When I say “king,” you probably think of fat, old Henry the VIII and his wives or the legendary King Arthur. You might think about King George III, the king that we revolted against in the American Revolution. We, here in America, shook free of the monarchal system of government over 200 years ago, but over two weeks ago we elected our president. Now, I’m sure there are people out there mourning the election results and there are those celebrating the results. Regardless of your feelings about the election, today’s solemnity has something to say to you. Namely, that in the long run it doesn’t matter who won, what matters is our true ruler in Heaven, Christ the King.
What does this mean? What does it mean down here below that we have a king like Jesus Christ up high? What does that have to do with my life right now? First of all, it serves as a reminder that we are sojourners in an alien land. Our true home is heaven. We are not to work for worldly glory or the praise of people; we are to work for the glory of God. As Jesus says in an earlier Gospel, where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be also. Our values will never match the world’s values and our deepest desires will never be met here on Earth.
Also, our King isn’t just an ordinary king. He doesn’t sit high on his throne placing burdens on the people that they cannot bear. Our King loves us so much that He stepped down from His pedestal for us, to die for us. He is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice out of love for us. You would be hard pressed to find an earthly king in the history of humanity that was willing to do the same, although I guess all the truly good ones are. Our King is with us in our struggles. He’s with you right now waiting for that test result or that surgery to be completed. He’s with you in your pain and in your joy. He’s not on some lofty throne somewhere in the sky looking down at us. He is sitting beside us here on Earth.
And finally, the last thing we can take away from today is that all of the kingdoms of this world eventually will fall away and no one kingdom encompasses all people. The kingdom of Jesus Christ will never fall and it is meant to encompass people of every nation. Jesus doesn’t prefer one skin color to another or one socio-economic bracket to another. He wants to take us all under His wings. While the things of this world are temporary, all things good and bad eventually come to an end, all empires eventually fall, one thing always remains and that is the kingdom of God, of Jesus Christ. God is always there and God will always be there. He says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is, and who was, and who is to come.” Nothing in this world can get more permanent than that.