20 November 2022 – Christ the King (Year C)

by Fr Gerard Theraviam

2 Samuel 5:1-3
Psalm 121(122):1-5
Colossians 1:12-20
Luke 23:35-43

Theme: Jesus, My Lord and King

So today we celebrate Jesus as our King. And indeed in the First Reading, we saw how the people looked to David as that king. And David was not a perfect King. He had his own faults. But people saw Jesus as one in the many kings in the line of David.

But when we look at Jesus as King, we don’t see a palace, we don’t see a crown (except that of thorns), we don’t see gold and grandeur like we normally think in terms of kings and queens, isn’t it? If you have your story books, children, about kings and queens, it is always about grand nice clothes and all that. But what we see in today’s Gospel Reading is Jesus on the cross. Not too many clothes. The only thing you could perhaps say that he is the king is the fact that he wears a crown. But it is not a golden crown. There are no diamonds on it but it is the crown of thorns.

And so we know that the kingship of Jesus is something very different. And perhaps we need to look at ourselves as well because if we think that we want to be kings and queens and princes and princesses, think again. Because the way of Jesus is the way of suffering that leads finally to the resurrection. No pain no gain.

And so the reality of our own lives is that if we are going to follow in the way of the kingdom of Jesus, we need to be prepared to recognise that we are to take up our crosses and follow Jesus. We are to be like the Lord, not to look for power and glory but to recognise ourselves as servants of each other and ultimately of God, our King.

And so you remember the beginning of Mass today I said: Is Jesus really my King or is that simply a name I call Him? Because if Jesus is my King, I need to be saying “Your will be done in my life. Everything I have, everything I am, it is Yours and I will follow you.

And the way of the kingdom of Jesus is not about riches and power and authority in that negative way that the world paints but it is the way of peace, of justice, of truth, of joy. The kingdom is not something that is ‘akan datang’, in heaven only. But the kingdom is something that Jesus has already inaugurated here on earth. And we need to be working so that that kingdom may become more alive, more apparent in our lives, first of all, and in the lives of others.

So if the kingdom values of love, for instance, are there, am I a loving person? Is love seen in my life by others or am I simply paying lip service to love? Is my love big enough to forgive people who have hurt me or am I holding on to grudges? That’s not love.

Peace is another of the features of God’s kingdom. Am I a peace loving person? Or am I willing and wanting to pick a fight with everybody who doesn’t agree with me? And in this case also sometimes am I a peace keeper or a peace maker? Because sometimes a peace keeper is someone ‘okay lah I don’t fight and I don’t complain but inside “grrr”.’ A peace maker is someone who sometimes has to confront the situation that is there and to see God’s hand in a messy situation and to make peace.

Another aspect of the kingdom is truth. Do I speak the truth? Do I live the truth? Do people see in me a truthful person, a sincere person? In my business, in my work, am I living God’s truth? Or am I saying ‘Aiyah what to do lah? Have to bribe them to get a job.’ Or perhaps you children, we bluff mommy and daddy sometimes, or our teachers. Mommy and daddy may say ‘Have you done your homework?’ ‘Ya I did’ but we go to school and we panic because we didn’t.

Justice – do we stand for justice? You know very often we look at the government and we say they are not just. But in our lives, do we live the kingdom value of justice? If you are an employer, are you just to your employees? Do we give them the day offs that they need? Do we treat them well? Do we pay them well?

So these are kingdom values that need to be lived out here and as we live out the kingdom values, the kingdom becomes more apparent. And more and more people can see the kingdom happening.

One other aspect I forgot – Joy. And this, Pope has reminded us of joy a lot. When people look at you, if you are sour-faced, who wants to join the kingdom like that? If there is joy in our lives, not simply a hee hee ha ha joy, but a joy that is there even when I am going through a tough time but I still can smile and continue because God gives me the strength and He gives me Simons of Cyrene and Simonas of Shah Alam or wherever it is to come and help me.

So let us celebrate the kingship of Jesus. Not just looking at heaven and say ‘Ah you are king, majesty. Wow!’ But the kingship needs to be experienced and lived here and now on earth. So that more and more people will want to be citizens of the kingdom. They will want to know Jesus the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. And they can only do this through you and I, as we live our lives, as we share our lives.

And yes, sometimes we may say some things to people but the saying has to be in line with our lives. You know if we say God is love, oh we must love and then people can see you don’t love in your lives, you don’t forgive in your lives. Doesn’t make sense. They won’t follow Jesus. So we need to be truly filled with the kingdom values so that we can be citizens of the Kingdom who invites others to join in His Kingdom.

Today the nation waits. I guess our Malaysian King has a lot of work in the next few days to help work out who is going to be our next Government. And we pray. We trust and we pray that in all things, God’s will is done. We entrust our nation, we entrust ourselves to God’s will. And perhaps if it is not according to what you want, we need to also see that maybe God is asking me to accept His will and to continue working for the Kingdom because we are all God’s people and God has all of us in His hand.

Help us Lord, guide us Lord as we journey in these next few days as a nation. Amen.

Click below to listen to the homily and watch the video:-

Click to live-stream Mass on 20 November 2022