Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
November 20, 2022 •
He comes in mercy. He comes in compassion to save us. But if we refuse His mercy and compassion, He will destroy us. And we deserve no better. Anyone who would refuse the forgiveness of God deserves eternal damnation. If in their pride and arrogance they do not recognize their need for a Savior, then they do not deserve one. Hell has been prepared for them and for the demons.
You can have the merciful, and gentle and loving King. Or the wrathful and judgmental one. Its your choice. You're here on a Sunday morning, so obviously, you prefer the first, as most of us do.
Now Christ's Kingship works on three levels, or three types. Let's call them Universal, Particular, and General.
The Universal Kingship of Christ is the fact that He is literally the King of everything, even the stars obey Him. Every demon, every angel, every human, every ant. All matter in the universe is subject to His will. In the end He will judge all things.
There is also a Particular Kingship. The Kingship that we hear about in the Scriptures and from the Saints, that He wants to be King of your heart. . . . He wants an intimate relationship with each one of you. How many subjects in the Kingdom get to have a personal relationship with their King? That's what our Lord wants. That's how loving and intimate He wants to be with each one of us.
Now, the General Kingship of Christ is understood by all those who share in His kingship. Many share in the Kingship of Christ. In fact, all do in varying ways. Every single baptized individual participates, shares in His Kingship. They are in fact, kings. But what are they kings of?
Each one of us who is baptized into His life, who share in His Kingship, are kings over ourselves.
When Christ says "I set you free", what He means is: I set you free to govern yourself. To rule over your own body and soul. To determine in which direction you will head. Whom you will serve. How you will live.
Until He set you free you weren't a king, you were a slave. You were a slave to your own bodily natures, with no hope of growth in virtue or holiness. He wants to set us free. He wants us to be self-directed, self-ruled individuals.
This is why we struggle with Him in the spiritual life. We Christians have a problem with God.
And the problem is this: we want to be holy, He wants us to be holy, but we want Him to make us holy. To kind of force us into holiness. How often do you get frustrated: "Lord, if you would just make me do the right thing, everybody would be happier! You'd be happier, my spouse would be happier, my children would be happier." We do this constantly, and we don't realize what we're asking. We're asking Him to enslave us. And He would never do that.
He offers you the very same dignity that He possesses as King.
He will help you learn to rule over your nature, to control your desires and to make good choices. He will help you learn to do that by His grace, His teachings, His Sacraments. But He will not do it for you. You are meant to be a King.
2 Sm 5:1-3; Ps 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43
Homily begins at 22:15