Good morning everyone! Welcome to all the members of our faith community and the visitors who have joined us today to celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.
Today's Feast is a very special one. Although Christ has always been recognized as the King of kings, it was not until Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of "Christ the King" in 1925 that it finally receive official recognition in the Holy Catholic Church. In other words, it has only been nearly 80 years since Catholics have been meeting annually to officially recognize Christ as King.
This is very important because the last time that God was officially recognized as King among the people was 3,046 years ago, or 2,971 years before the institution of this special Feast. For nearly 3,000 years, the world did not "officially" recognize God as its King.
Some of you may wonder what happened 3,046 years ago. At that time, God's people approached Samuel and asked him to appoint a king over them. [1 Sam. 8:3, 5] The people wanted a king like the surrounding pagan nations so they would have someone to lead them during their battles. This greatly offended God who knew the hearts of the people, that they were rejecting Him as King over them. [1 Sam. 8:7] And so it was, in 1043 B.C., Saul was anointed as the king of God's people.
The injustice that was done to God was finally corrected 78 years ago when the Lord Jesus, in who the fullness of God was pleased to dwell bodily, [Col. 1:19, 2:9] was 'officially' reinstated as the rightful King of the Catholic Church.
Now that Christ the King has been officially elevated to His rightful position above all His creation, one may wonder, where is His Kingdom?
Speaking to His followers, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of God has come with power." [Mk. 9:1] Speaking to Nathanael, Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." [Jn. 1:51] Based on the Sacred Words of Jesus that are perfect truth, the Kingdom of God arrived during the first century.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that after Jesus resurrected and appeared to His disciples, "He ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father." [Acts 1:4] The disciples were to await the arrival of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem on Pentecost Day. There are every indication in the Holy Scriptures that this moment is when the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God officially descended on earth.
In the Book of Revelation, John says, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God, they will be his people, and God himself will be with them.'" [Rev. 21:1-3]
This particular passage is not a reference to the future, but rather to the past. Why? Because of the reference of God dwelling among His people. Who dwells in the Blessed Tabernacle in every Catholic Church around the world? Christ the King! Who do we receive during the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist? Christ the King! God is now dwelling among His people as the rightful King. His Kingdom has arrived on earth as promised.
Another proof that the aforementioned passage is of the past is from the passage that is found in today's Second Reading. It says, "Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will lament. So it is to be. Amen." Every eye will see Him, even THOSE WHO PIERCED HIM. Those who pierced Christ the King are the Roman soldiers who crucified Him! Surely, this cannot be a reference to the future as some allege regarding the Second Coming and the future Kingdom of God.
While some await for a false hope, a visible Kingdom of God on earth, Jesus never said that His Kingdom would be visible. He said, "The Kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For, in fact, the Kingdom of God is among you." [Lk. 17:20-1] The Kingdom of God cannot be observed! It cannot be seen! It is invisible because it is of the spiritual world that coexists with our world.
During today's Gospel Reading, we heard Jesus say, "My kingdom is not from this world." [Jn. 18:36]
My brothers and sisters in Christ, if we await a false hope, the Second Coming of Christ to rule on earth for 1,000 years as some believe, or if we await for the physical descent of the Kingdom of God on earth, how can we truly appreciate the mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ when through such belief we are clearly rejecting the physical presence of God and His Kingdom on earth? With such a belief, are we not counting ourselves among our separated brothers and sisters who are awaiting a false hope?
Christ the King is here today with us! His Kingdom has arrived and we as baptized children have received our new creation of the godly seed, [1 Jn. 3:9] this gift making us members of the Kingdom of God on earth. Through our new creation, we are now able to worship God in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship Him. [Jn. 4:23-4]
During today's First Reading, we heard, "To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all people, nations and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed." [Dan. 7:14]
The present Kingdom of God on earth, spiritual in nature, invisible to the naked eye, is one that shall never be destroyed. The dominion of Christ the King is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away.
During the coming week, let us assess our beliefs. Are they in harmony with the teachings of Jesus? Are they based on sound Catholic doctrine that has been handed down by apostolic succession? Are they based on Biblical truths? Are we wholeheartedly partaking in the spiritual Kingdom of God on earth through our Baptism as we should be? Are we accepting with inner joy and peace that Christ the King is presently ruling over us? Or are we looking for a false Christ and a false Kingdom? Many are being deceived and their deception is hurting the Body of Christ. As living stones, we must support one another, correct one another if we err from the truth, and be united in one Lord, one truth, one baptism, one Christ, one Spirit and one Holy Catholic Church. May the grace of God be with you this week.