The Feast of Christ the King

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

We just celebrated last Sunday the feast that marks the end of the liturgical year.  It is fitting that at the end of a procession or parade, it is the King we get to see or behold.  The preliminary entourages of the parade are for the King and lead us to the King.  The liturgical year ends with the Feast of Christ the King to tell us that everything should lead us to Christ and be centered around Christ.

“Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked Jesus.  Jesus then replied, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is from another place.” (Jn 18:33,36) Jesus Christ’s kingship is not political but spiritual.  It’s one of the reasons the Jews rejected Him because they expected Him to free them from the slavery of the Romans.  But Christ came to free us from a greater slavery, the slavery to sin.

The feast pretty much sums up what the Christian life is all about: “Is Jesus the King of our life?” Is He the Lord of all aspects of our life?  The Latin word for “Lord” is Dominus, which means someone who dominates.  Does Jesus dominate our lives?  Can we say we with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me?”  (Gal 2:20) If we say anything other than what St. Paul said, then we are not taking our Christian life seriously, or Christ is not the King of our entire life.  Are we just paying lip service to our King?  Do we pay a few minutes listening to Him every Sunday and live the rest of our lives as if He does not exist?  These are serious questions because Christianity is a serious business.  We can’t fool around when our earthly happiness and our eternal happiness is at stake.

Let’s specify how Christ should reign in our lives.  Is he the King of our family life?  Do we treat each member of our family as an end and not as a means?  When we treat someone as a means it would mean that we use that person to our advantage.  To love means to seek and do what is good for others and not to use people for our own pleasure, projects or plans.  In the area of sex, do we use sex as a means to love or just for pleasure?  When couples use contraceptives, it would mean they are just after of the process (pleasure of sex) but not the product (children).   It would be misusing sex for pleasure and not for its purpose which is to have children within marriage.  Christ ought to be King in every area of our lives even in our sexual lives.

Is Christ the King of our profession as well?  Are we in a job that is immoral or does corrupt practices in the workplace?  “But it’s a good job and makes a lot of money for my family”, you might say.   But at the expense of your character and your soul?  What will you tell your children when they too will try to find a job someday?  That it’s ok to cheat or receive bribe once in a while as long as you don’t do it too often? Honesty should always be the best policy.  It’s going to be hard to offer up the fruits of our labor to God when we are in a dishonest profession.

Is Jesus the King of our personal life as well or when we are alone and no one is watching?  Bishop Barron would say we should be comfortable doing things in private as if Jesus is sitting next to us.  That would mean we are who we are in the eyes of others and when no one is watching us which is a true gauge of our character.  When we are engaged in entertainment, or relaxing at home watching TV or surfing the net would we welcome Christ sitting next to us?  Spiritual tradition would call this living the presence of God.  It is one of the most effective spiritual weapons against temptation and sin because often times when we are tempted, the pleasure of sin becomes so real and so within grasp and to counter that we should make goodness and holiness be very real as well by converting that goodness into a Person, Christ Himself who is really always beside us.  “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me.”  (Ps 139: 1-2,7-10)