Christ the King
Genuflecting to Our Lord present in the consecrated hosts in the tabernacle is a simple gesture. One knee (genuflect means bending the knee) touches the ground near the heel of the foot of the other leg. The gesture recognises that we are in the presence of the Lord Jesus. This is the one who today is celebrated as King of the Universe. Genuflecting is a gesture associated with displaying respect for a king or queen. Not only is it a display of respect it also signifies submission to the authority of the one genuflected to.
Here is the heart of today’s celebration. Our world, personal and global, runs well when the laws of God are respected and abided by. Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 when he called on the nations of the world to live by God’s law and to abandon outlooks that made one’s own ideas the sovereign yardstick for development. Without reference to what God wants then human beings will always sell themselves short and fail to attain the peace and development that is yearned for from deep within all of us.
The prophecy of Ezekiel, centuries before Jesus, took the rulers to task for not caring well for the people entrusted to their care. Seeing rulers as shepherds is a common image in the bible. Sadly the rulers neglected the care of the flock so God promised that this care would be taken from the rulers and assumed by God in a very personal way. This prophecy found its fulfilment in the coming of Jesus, the ultimate good shepherd.
As the liturgical year ends this week Christ as King of the Universe puts in plain language what is expected of us in our acknowledgment of him as King. Absent are lavish gifts or adorning ourselves in the finest of fine clothes that we might imagine are fit for a king. Absent too is any reference to paying taxes as a sign of our lowly position. This king does not lord the regal authority over us or make us feel small and insignificant. What is expected of us is simple service of those in need of any kind.
To visit the sick and imprisoned, to clothe the naked, to give sustenance to those who hungry or thirsty: this is what the King of the Universe expects of us citizens of the universe. These things are so seemingly inconsequential but in reality are not. In acting in this way we are acting in harmony with the human nature God has given us. These simple acts are the flowering of our humanity and the stuff by which we will bring ourselves into alignment with God.
Fr Adrian Farrelly
|Dec 4, 2014||Christ the King 23.11.2014||Listen||Download|