The Solemnity of Christ King of the Universe (year C) – 20 November 2022
Lectionary Readings: 2Sam 5:1-3; Ps.122:1-2.4-5; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43
Theme: The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Peace and Union
Christ, King of the Universe! We have reached the end of another liturgical year, and the liturgy of today invites us to become aware of the kingship of Jesus. The readings make it clear, however, that this royalty cannot be understood in the way of the kings of this world: it is a royalty that is exercised in love, service, forgiveness, and the gift of life,
The first reading from the book of the Prophet Samuel presents us with the moment when David became king of all Israel: “You will feed my people Israel; you will be king of Israel.” With David, a time of happiness, abundance and peace began, which remained in the memory of all the People of God. The connection between King David and Jesus, in addition to Davidic descent, is that Jesus is considered in the New Testament to be the Lord’s answer to the dreams and expectations of God’s people. David’s reign is presented as an ideal time of unity, peace, and happiness. However, he also knew everything that usually characterizes human kingdoms: thrones, riches, armies, battles, injustices, court intrigues, struggles for power, murders, corruption…
In the second reading, Paul Celebrates Christ’s sovereignty over all creation; and we may say that he makes three great claims: Christ is the “image of the invisible God.” To say that he is an “image” is to say that he is, in everything, equal to the father, in being and action; and that in him resides the fullness of the divinity. The second says that He is “the firstborn of every creature”. In the Jewish family context, the “firstborn” was the main heir, who had primacy in dignity and authority over his brothers. Applied to Christ, it means that He has supremacy and authority over all creation. The third claim assures us that “in Him, through Him and for Him were all things created”. This means that all things have in Him their supreme center of unity, cohesion, harmony, which is that He communicates the Father’s life to all creation.
The Gospel is the end of Jesus’ earthly “walk”: the foundations of the “Kingdom” are already laid, and Jesus is presented as “the King” who presides over this “Kingdom” that He came to propose to all people. “Jesus, remember me when you come with your royalty.” Jesus’ answer to this request is: “Today you will be with me in paradise”. Jesus is the King who presents all people with a proposal for salvation and who, from the cross, offers life. On the cross the kingship of Jesus is fully manifested: forgiveness, renewal of humanity, and full life; and this royalty embraces all human beings – even the damned – who welcome salvation.
On the feast of Christ the King, we can also remember Christ’s mission and embrace it so as to build a Kingdom of Peace, love and union, for He is the center of the entire universe and everything tends and converges on Him… Christ is the King of the Universe!
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. How do you see the kingship of Jesus in your life? How would you explain it to people for whom a ‘king’ is patriarchal, self-centered and uncaring?
Bibliography: McKenzie, J.L. Dictionary of the Bible (New York: 1965)
This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Nayon Nigel Cezar, nds, Israel, Bat Kol Contributor