Sunday Sipping: Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46

It isn’t a fashionable idea nowadays to talk about obedience to a king. Words like king, kingdom, obedience, and submission irritate our modern sensibilities and it’s easy to see why. History is full of instances where kings or emperors have abused the power they held over their people. As such, many of us have been trained to look at monarchy with suspicion. So how do we reconcile our inherent distrust of monarchy with the Church’s understanding of Christ as King? One way to start is to realize that Jesus is King like no other king and in Him, kingship reaches its fullest and most beautiful expression, service to others.

Jesus Christ is King unmatched by others because of His humility and the unparalleled love and care that He lavishes on His people. It is Jesus who fulfills the words of the Prophet Ezekiel that we hear in the First Reading, when the Lord God says, “I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal [emphasis mine]”. We see this clearly in His public ministry and we see this most fully when Christ the King is enthroned on His Cross at Calvary, for it is by His injuries we are healed, by His being broken, we are made whole.

Jesus is the King who freely submits Himself for our sake. And even today, we see this at Mass. The King of the Universe, the Divine Immensity, humbles Himself to be carried around by His creatures and consumed, fulfilling the words of the Psalmist, “You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” This Feast is nothing other than the King Himself, bestowing every good grace that we need.

Through our baptism, we Christians share in the Kingship of Christ and so we look to the example of our King to help us flesh out that calling. As He gives of Himself for others, so too are we called to give of ourselves in service to others. This is kingship, that we submit ourselves for the wellbeing of others. In light of this, let us pray this Sunday, that God may grant us the grace to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned. A blessed Sunday to you all!