Sunday, 21 November 2021 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday is the last Sunday of the current liturgical year, as next Sunday will mark the beginning of the new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Advent season leading towards Christmas. This Sunday every year we mark the occasion of the great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, also known as the Solemnity of Christ the King. This great celebration marks the end of every liturgical years reminding us of Our one true Lord and King, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and of all Creation.

As we listened to the words of the Scriptures we are called to reflect on the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is Our True King, the One Who lords over us all and the font and source of all authority in this world. He is the One to Whom we ultimately give our obedience and commitment to, even as we all obey the laws and the customs of the land, of our own respective states and countries. We reflect on the Lord our Saviour and King, Who willingly came down to dwell in our midst and to walk among us, taking up upon Himself our humble human forms, that He may share with us our humanity.

And by His sharing of our humanity, He became the One to lead us out of the darkness and into in the light. Through Him we have received the assurances of salvation and eternal life, as by His most loving sacrifice on the Cross, He gave us the perfect gift of His love and the gift of everlasting life through His sacrifice for our sake. In Him, Our Lord and King, enthroned upon His Cross, lifted up high between Heaven and earth, all of us have shared in His death, dying to our past wickedness, disobedience and sins, and sharing with Him the glorious Resurrection and new life through His own Resurrection on Easter.

Let us now spend some time to discern the readings of the Scripture we have just heard earlier on, beginning with our first reading taken from the Book of the prophet Daniel. In that passage we heard of the heavenly vision of the prophet Daniel, who received the vision of Heaven, seeing a Son of Man together with One of Great Age, which was in fact the manifestation of the Lord and His Holy Trinity, as the Son of Man was none other than Jesus, also the Son of God, while the One of Great Age referred to God the Father, the Creator of all.

In that vision, we were told that the One of Great Age, the Father, granted dominion, power and authority, of kingship over all creation and the whole universe to the Son of Man, which is symbolic of what we are celebrating on this day. In that action, the Lord revealed to Daniel and also to all of us that He is the One true Lord, Master and King of all, the One and only One Who has authority and power over all things, over all beings and over all creation. All kings, lords and rulers, all beings in Heaven, on earth and even in hell are all subjects of the Lord Jesus Christ, One God, One True King of all.

And as we heard in that passage from the prophet Daniel, he mentioned that the Kingship of Christ our Lord is clear and true, a true dominion that is for all time and for all things, unchanging and eternal. It is not merely just a symbolic kingship or rule that Our Lord’s Kingship us about, but a true Kingship, the King over all of us regardless of our national allegiance and regardless of our obedience to any worldly entities and states. The Lord’s kingship transcends the boundary of states and nations, and His kingship transcends any definition of race, or political affiliation and any other categories or groupings that we often divide ourselves into.

And in our Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord Jesus speaking to Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea during the time of His Passion and suffering, when He was about to be condemned to death by the same Pontius Pilate. I am sure all of us are familiar with what happened at that time, as the Lord had been falsely charged and accused by the chief priests, the elders and the Pharisees of the attempt to rebel against the Emperor in Rome, while also charging Him of blasphemy against God.

In the claim that the enemies of the Lord made, they claimed that Jesus used the title of the ‘King of the Jews’ in referring to Himself and therefore, together with His large and popular following, He was a great threat to the Romans. To the Romans, who were overlords and masters of the land at the time, there was no greater crime than to rebel against the state and the Emperor, by claiming kingship or leading a rebellion for freedom against the Empire. Such a crime was punishable by death, and not just that, but those guilty were often punished by crucifixion, reserved for the worst of offenders.

Thus Pilate asked the Lord for clarification, whether He was truly the King of the Jews, and the Lord then asked him back where he had heard it from, which Pilate replied in amusement because it was those chief priests who had said so. When Pilate said that he had the power to release Him or to crucify Him, he was actually referring to the fact that if the Lord could prove that He was actually slandered by the chief priests and that they falsely accused Him, Pilate could very well have freed Him. But the Lord spoke the truth then when He did say that, yes, He is indeed a King, although His kingdom is not of this world.

The Lord Jesus did speak the truth, that His Kingdom is not of this world and is unlike anything that this world has ever seen. His kingdom was not built on earthly glory or material wealth, power or any other things that became the foundation of other kingdoms and dominions of the world. Instead, His Kingdom is built on His own authority, true authority and power that surpasses anything else. He did not depend on those things that sustained kings and lords, like money, wealth, power, fame amongst other things. He has no need for such things.

And unlike other kings and rulers who always tried to vindicate and prove themselves, and many of them seeking glory and greatness, with some even seeking to be regarded as divine and to be worshipped, where man wanted and aspired to become like God, to be gods and deities, in their hopeless and meaningless pursuits for these purposes, the Lord Jesus Christ was unique. How is that so? That is because He Who is the personification of all glory and power, full of power and full of glory, fully Divine and Almighty, has willingly laid down His glory and majesty, emptying Himself and taking up the condition of a criminal and a slave, exactly at the moment when He was crucified.

Yet, it was by humbling Himself so completely and perfectly, that Our Lord and King won His greatest victory, in delivering all of us, His beloved people from the clutches of sin and death. The Lord has triumphed and delivered us from the certainty of death and destruction, and fulfilled everything that He has promised to us and to our ancestors from the very beginning of time. The Lord our King has laid down His own life, like a Good Shepherd laying down his life for his sheep, all because He truly loves us and cares for each one of us. All of us are precious to Him and He knows all of us by our names.

And as we heard in the Book of Revelations in our second reading today, the Lord Jesus, our King will come again triumphant at the end of time, He Who has conquered evil, sin and death. He shall come again at the end of all things, to gather all of us, His beloved people and He will bring us into the kingdom prepared for all of us, the kingdom of everlasting life, filled with true joy, peace and love. The Lord, Our King and Saviour will bring us all together and deliver us the final triumph and victory.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all spend some time to reflect on what we have just heard and discussed. Are we thankful that we have Jesus as Our Lord and King, not as a distant person or being, but as One Whom we can always depend on, One Who knows our sufferings and have gone through the same sufferings as we have endured, One Who loves us most deeply from His heart and had endured with that love despite of our infidelities and stubbornness in rejecting His love and betraying Him.

But if Christ is truly our King, then why is it that so many of us are still living our lives and acted in ways that are contrary to the teachings and the ways of the Lord? Why is it that so many of us disregarded Him, betrayed Him and preferred to walk in the path of sin rather than to follow Him wholeheartedly and obeying Him as we should as our Lord and King. These are important questions that we should ask ourselves as we ponder on our own lives and actions thus far in life.

Let us all as we rejoice in this great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, remember that Christ is our one and only true Lord, Master and King. And let this not be mere empty commitment and dedication, but one of true love for our King, of true and living dedication in each and every moments of our lives. Let us renew our commitment to Him, obey Him from now on in His Law, commandments and will. Let us follow Him wholeheartedly from now on and have no more doubts in our hearts.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and King continue to reign in our hearts, and let us always remember His love for us, as He gave His life and suffered for our sake. May He empower us all and strengthen us with the faith that we may glorify Him and proclaim Him courageously in our respective lives, to the best of our ability. May Christ, Our Lord and King reign forever and evermore, in our hearts and in the whole world. Amen.