The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
King of the Universe
November 22, 2020 Cycle A
by Rev. Jose Maria de Sousa Alvin Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B.
Chaplain Saint John Paul II National Shrine
Sunday Reading Meditations
Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Today we contemplate him in his glory and power. His kingship is unique. Seated upon a glorious throne, Jesus says: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:34–35).
Jesus’ kingship is a paradox. He is seated upon a throne of glory but, at the same time, identifies himself with the poorest of the poor. The scepter of our King is the Cross!
In today’s second reading, Saint Paul says: “Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Cor 15:20). The resurrection of Christ is the event that fulfills all things. The period between the resurrection and the second coming is the time for Christ to destroy all the power of darkness. As Saint Paul says, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:25-26). In Christ, all things return to the Father. Now, through his invisible action, he is restoring all things. Christ is the center where everything converges and reaches fulfillment.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is already King. Nevertheless, his kingship needs to be recognized. He destroys the power of darkness but needs our collaboration. As we recognize Christ as our King, as we submit ourselves to him, we participate in the building of the kingdom of God. As today’s preface says, “[…] a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”
Christ’s presence fulfills us. As we submit ourselves to him, we experience unity and peace. In Christ, we find rest for our souls. In today’s first reading, the Lord says: “I myself will give them rest” (Ez 34:15). The king is a good shepherd. Today’s Psalm says: “In verdant pastures he gives me repose. Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul” (Ps 23).
To proclaim that Christ is King means to believe that God has a plan for history, a positive design. Through the mystery of Jesus’ cross, all evil has been conquered forever. In the wounded side of the Lord, everything is purified and finds a solution. This certainty of faith should conquer fear. Nowadays, many people are paralyzed by fear. Humanly speaking, it is easy to understand why because we are facing difficult circumstances. However, we need to look at the time we are living in as a time to return to God, to seek his face. “I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame” (Ps 34:5‒6). The Scripture teaches us that God uses hard times as occasions to invite the people to return to him. We see this clearly during the Exile. When the people of God lost all their institutional certainties, they were forced to enter into a process of purification, of turning away from idols toward the living God, of placing hope not in what is human but in God himself.
Christ is King! We embrace the future with hope because we know that all things are moving toward fulfillment in Christ. We know by faith that in the end, God will be all in all (Cf. 1 Cor 15:28). Amen.