Here is my homily for this weekend. God bless all of you!
Solemnity of Christ the King
November 19/20, 2016
2 Sam 5: 1-3; Col 1: 12-20; Lk 23: 35-43
Who or what is your most valuable possession? Who or what do you treasure most in your life? Is it your home? Or your job and career? Or maybe your health? Perhaps it is your retirement plan? Is it an old family photograph?
Another question: Who or what possesses you? Who or what rules your life? Are you truly free? Do you have lasting freedom?
Jesus wants to be possessed by us as your most valuable possession. He, who is God, wants to be possessed by you and acknowledged by you as your King. Jesus wants to be your most valuable possession because you are his most valued possession.
God is our most valuable possession because he is our king, and we are his most valuable possession. He wants to possess us and to be possessed by us in every way possible and we don’t need to fear that he will take away our freedom if we let him be our King. Yes, the things of this world, e.g., money, fame, property, prestige, and people tend to possess us and take our freedom away. Ask anyone who is addicted to substances or other things, and they will tell you this. Ask anyone who has lived under a dictatorship, and they will tell you the same. But Jesus our King is different.
Our King wants to completely possess our every though, word, and deed and in return he promises true freedom, not slavery, because he is a kin who wants not only to possess us but to become one with us so much so that we become his image. He became one with us so we could become one with him.
Kings of this world possess all in their kingdoms, every acre of land, every building, the army, and even the people who live in their kingdom. They own it all, but no one dare possess the king. Indeed, in the Old Testament, we read how people were put to death just for appearing unannounced before the king. Their lives were his, but the king’s life was his own.
Jesus, our King, like the kings of old, has a claim on everything and everyone in his kingdom, but unlike earthly kings he gives himself to all who ask, all who approach him, from the greatest to the least of us. Jesus gives himself to all and beseeches us to let him penetrate every moment of our lives, occupy our every thought, control all our actions, and all our decisions so that we may be truly free.
We are told in our second reading today that Jesus is King because all things and people came to be through him. “All things were created through him and for him,” St. Paul writes. Jesus our King has brought us into being, into life. Through him we were created and it is because of him that we are alive now. He possesses us because we are marked as his when we were baptized. At baptism, the deacon or priest says, “I claim you for Christ by the sign of the cross, which I trace on your forehead.” The Holy Spirit then enters that child when the water is poured and he is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is poured into the child’s life and forms him into Jesus and leads him to the Father. We, too, have been given the Holy Spirit, and we are then possessed by Jesus who wants to rule our every thought, word, and deed. In other words, he wants to be your king in every way possible. God is a jealous king. He wants nothing else, no one else, to possess us. We are his. He will never reject what he has taken to himself. He wants no one to take us away from him. He guards and protects us like all good kings do. He will move mountains for us if we believe and ask.
Will we let him be our King? Will we let ourselves be possessed by him? Do we really want to possess our King and to become like him?
Yes, Jesus is King of the universe, of all creation, and this includes you and me. He wants us for himself, but gives us true freedom if we become his. He wants to possess all of us, every moment, every thought, every desire, and every deed. He knows our every thought, he knows our every decision; he guards us in all our ways. He not only wants to possess us, but to be possessed by us. Jesus our King is not a distant king, an unapproachable king. No! He wants to one with us, loved by us.
That is what his kingdom is all about: freedom and love. Just as lovers in this world want to possess and be possessed by the one they love, so it is with Jesus our King. Genuine unselfish love always frees. Jesus loves genuinely and unselfishly.
May Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, rule our lives forever!