Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe. Nowadays there are not many kings around. In many countries, we no longer speak of Monarchy but of Democracy. Nevertheless we in some of our traditional societies especially here in Cameroon, we still have chiefdoms and fondoms. A King, Chief, Fon, Queen, President or Leader is a symbol of unity and service. He has the task of Caring and seeing to the welfare of the people under his dominion.
The first reading likens the leader to a shepherd who cares for his sheep. This fits into the Kingship of Christ based on service. Christ is the King who will look after his flock himself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall Christ will keep his sheep in view. He shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. At this backdrop, Jesus confidently attests “I am the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:11).
Jesus turned down a tempting offer of Glory and Territory at the beginning of his ministry (Luke 4, 8-11). In so doing he turned down the seducing glories of the leaders of this world. He constantly bucked the pressures of the crowd. Once after feeding he crowd of over 5000 people they wanted to take Jesus by Force and make him king (Jn 6:15). Jesus turned it down. Jesus is not in any way denying his kingship! Jesus is King! He asserts it clearly in front of Pilate: “Yes, I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came to this world, to testify to the truth” (Jn 18:37). In today’s Gospel, Mathew depicts Jesus as a true Leader and King. Jesus had an undeniable power with which he calmed and quieted angry storms. He even walked on the lake. Despite this, he used his power compassionately for others. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, pardon sinners etc. Many countries and associations have been rendered miserable, hopeless, and have fallen from grace to grass because of corrupt leadership.
The Great Roman Empire despite its mighty army with sword, guns and canons have failed. The British Empire is today reduced to a small country. The Great French Empire under the Powerful Napoleon is today a thing of the Past. But the kingdom of Christ, founded on love and justice is still growing stronger.
Our shepherd King Jesus invites us to build up a Kingdom based on Justice, Love and peace! We must alleviate the distress f the suffering millions of the world! Our hearts must reach to those who are in great need for they are not far from us. Only in this way will our leadership be pertinent. The following words published in a parish bulletin and beautifully quoted by Vima Dasan in his book His Word lives can be our daily manna this week:
I was hungry and you formed a humanitarian club and discussed my hunger. I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release. I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance. I was sic and you knelt and thanked God for your health. I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God. I was lonely and you left me alone to go and pray for me. You seem so holy, so close to God. But I am still very hungry and lonely and cold.”
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang , cmf
Please pray for me