Homily for Solemnity of Jesus the King

Here is my homily for the weekend. May God bless you!

The Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ the King

Daniel 7:13-14; Rev 1:5-8; John 18:33b-37

November20/21, 2021

 

The one to whom you listen is the one whom you will obey, and the one you obey becomes the one who is your king.

To whom do we listen? Who or what is our king?

I would like to strike a sharp contrast in the homily today. Please bear with me as I do so. The good piece is at the end; the difficult piece is the beginning.

The world almost demands we make it our king. It demands the we listen and obey. The world around us, it seems, instills fear within to get our attention and our obedience. It uses fear as a way to become our king.

The media, so prevalent in our lives, makes similar demands. It rules the lives of so many of us nowadays. We bury our heads in our iPhones. We listen to the podcasts. We obey the information given to us on the web. The media becomes our king.

We may hold up certain people or causes as our ultimate authority to whom we pledge our lives, people who like Pontius Pilate have civil authority but lack the truth. Yes, there are many Pontius Pilates in our world who do not know the truth. We too easily listen to them and they become our kings.

So many of us allow things within us to become our kings: pride, vainglory, addictions, sins we have committed, regrets over our failures, even our accomplishments.

Indeed, we have very fickle, fallible, and untrustworthy kings to whom we listen and obey.

Think of the ancient Hebrews. They were filled with fear because they were starving. So they turned to Egypt. They submitted to the king of Egypt and what happened? They became slaves for 400 years.

The Hebrews did it again after God had freed them from Egypt and brought them into the desert. They became frightened when Moses went up the mountain to be with God. They made a molten calf their king. What happened? None of them made it to the Promised Land. Only their children did.

The Israelites also made the same mistake when they saw the nations around them with an earthly king and all they had were judges. They demanded a king, Saul, and they forsook their true king, God. What happened? They ended up divided and conquered.

I can go on. Judas and the Jewish authorities did it. Judas wanted a king of his own making, not the king that was Jesus. He sold out Jesus, the King of Kings. So what happened?  Judas died in despair.

Part One of the contrast. Now Part Two, the good part.

Jesus Christ, the true King of the Universe, does not use fear to get us to listen and obey. No, He uses the truth. He uses men and women who speak the truth, who give witness to the truth, who do not shy away from the truth, who proclaim the truth to get us to listen and obey. Jesus uses human beings to tell all those looking for a real king about His kingdom, a kingdom of mercy, love, justice, forgiveness, and eternal life. Our true King wants to love us into obedience.

We have so many witnesses to the Kingship of Jesus Christ. Thousands of named and unnamed Christians in the Church who knew the truth, who listened to His voice and obeyed, even to the point of martyrdom. Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, Simon, Jude, Lucy, Agatha, Marcillinus, Perpetua, Cosmos, Damian, and in our time Maximilian Kolbe and hundreds of others in Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan who gave their lives because they knew the truth and their King, Jesus Christ.

We here in this parish must never tire of speaking the name of our King. Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe. He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the all powerful Son of God and Son of Mary who is our spiritual mother. Through Him all things were created and are held in existence. He is a King that is also a brother, a friend, a companion, an advocates before the throne of grace. He is a man like us in all things but sin, yet He is our King. He is the one who makes us like Him in his divinity. Jesus is the name to which we must bow our heads and bend our knees. (Every time the name of Jesus is spoken we should bow our heads silently.) In our darkest hour, He rules. In our weakest moments, His strength sustains us. In our sinfulness, He guides us back safely into his Kingdom of mercy. Our King is meek, and He is strong. He often seems weak and powerless to our eyes, but He is in fact far stronger than anything we could imagine.  Jesus is the center point of all human history. His Kingship has changed everything in the past, now in the present, and in the future.

Yes, Jesus our King must be proclaimed to all men and women. We are the ones who must proclaim Him. No matter who you are or how far along you are in your faith life, you can and must proclaim the name of Jesus. Speak of him to your family. Speak of him to your neighbors. Speak of him before you leave today to the person next to you in this Church. Proclaim Jesus! He is your King! Say his name. Out loud, speak His name. Tell people He is alive and His Kingdom is with us.

My fellow Christians, when difficulties arise in your life, to whom will you listen? Who will you obey? Who will be your king? I have only one answer: Jesus Christ! Listen to him!

May God bless you all!

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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