Take Heart, Jesus Christ is King
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Donald Trump has won the election and is now our President-Elect. Many people are very upset about this. On the other hand, if his opponent Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, just as many people would have been just as upset. We are a bitterly divided country, and five minutes scrolling through your favorite social network website or listening to any of the news pundits will give you a glimpse into the fear, anger, and bitterness that currently reigns in the culture. What does our faith have to say about this?
Today we mark the end of this liturgical year by celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King. It’s as if the Church wants to symbolically remind us every year that the culmination of everything we believe and celebrate is the reality that Jesus Christ is King. He is the King of our lives, our hearts and yes, even the world we live in. To him belongs our eternal allegiance and radical obedience. This is the core of the Kerygma, and this, my friends, is very Good News.
It’s good news because, you see, earthly power will always disappoint us. All of this is passing. All of it is finite. Regardless of whom you voted for and their campaign promises, they will necessarily disappoint you. Personal sin and structures of sin will always corrupt our frail humanity. Jesus, however, is a different kind of King, and he came to establish a different kind of Kingdom.
In today’s second reading, we read that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” This means in Jesus we encounter God himself. In Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God reveals who he is and teaches us about reality. In the Gospel today, the soldiers mock Jesus and challenge him to save himself if he’s truly the King of the Jews. They want him to make a show of his power. He refuses and allows himself to be led like a lamb to slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). God turns everything we know and have experienced about power on its head. Here we see that Divine Power doesn’t look like the fame, wealth, beauty, or honor we are so quick to worship in earthly reality. It isn’t about having the ability, authority, money or influence to save yourself from the suffering, pain or all the other inconveniences of life. The irony is that real power, the power that has existed for all eternity and has created all that exists, that power is manifested in the drama of the Cross. That power is self-emptying love.
The true King, Christ the King, is the One who forgets himself in love for each one of us. This is the icon of the invisible God. Real power is self-emptying love and that power can transform your life. Hope springs eternal because regardless of who is in the White House, Jesus Christ is King.
To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen! (Jude 1:25)