It is interesting that Luke’s version of the Gospel (unlike Matthew and Mark) does not record any trial of Jesus at night by the Sanhedrin. Rather it begins at daybreak, and everything is done in the light of day.

In the few verses of TODAY’S GOSPEL [LUKE 23: 35 – 43] there appear no less than six clear references to the LORDSHIP of Jesus: Christ of God, Chosen One, King of the Jews (twice), the Christ, and kingly power. It is only in terms of LORDSHIP that it is possible to begin unravelling the richness of today’s solemnity of CHRIST THE KING.

Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Chosen, the Resurrected Lord of Life. The words king and kingship have become, over the centuries, somewhat tainted and political. In addition, kings and queens, no matter how inspiring and beneficial their reigns have been, are somehow or other seen as ‘apart’ from ordinary folk and a little ‘removed’ from reality. Our Resurrected Lord is, in truth one of us, he is our Brother, our Saviour, and lives his life with and in us. It is the LIFE he gives us which makes him OUR LORD.

It is interesting that Paul V1 was the last Pope to have been crowned with the triple tiara – and it was his decision to relegate the triple tiara to the Vatican museum – and change the public ritual after a pope’s election from coronation to installation.

So, we approach this Sunday’s celebration by remembering that Christ is King because he is Lord. He is not Lord because he is King. At the same time remember that our transfer is to the kingdom of his beloved Son. [see TODAY’S NEW TESTAMENT EXTRACT: COLOSSIANS 1: 12 – 20]. There Saint Paul tells us that this SON “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” In addition, “he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ….. in everything he (is) pre-eminent.” All this tells us a great deal about the fact that he is kingbecause he is, primarily, LORD!

Saint Paul, in a number of other New Testament texts, lays the foundation for our acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord. The apostle tells us that “God’s age-long purpose was achieved in Christ Jesus our Lord”, and “in him we have access to God with freedom.”

{see Ephesians 3: 11 – 12}. Even more powerfully, Paul teaches that “God bestowed on him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow – and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord.” {see Philippians 2: 9 – 11} Finally {see 1 Corinthians 12: 3}“no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except under the influence of the Holy Spirit.” Here there is no darkness – everything indicates the LIGHT.

To all this let us add two specific incidents from the life of Jesus himself. Firstly in a discussion with the Pharisees Jesus poses a question: “the Lord said to my Lord ….if David calls him ‘Lord’, how can be David’s son?” This encounter appears in all three Synoptic versions.

{see Matthew 22: 4ff, Mark 12 36 ff & Luke 20: 43 ff} Then we add what Jesus says to the disciples at the Last Supper: “you call me ‘Master’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am.”{John 13: 12}

Finally, our

OLD TESTAMENT READING [2 SAMUEL 5: 1 – 3] makes very clear the difference between, on the one hand, Jesus Christ as a king, and – on the other, David. The tribes came together and chose David as king – they were of David’s bone and flesh. There IS a real difference – “the Lord said to my Lord ….if David calls him ‘Lord’, how can be David’s son?”

The kings of Israel so very often failed to be the lords they should have been. Jesus Christ stands in sharp contrast. He was the

SERVANT that they kings should have been. Jesus is often described as the Servant Messiah, the Servant Lord, the Servant Leader.

It is against this background that we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. He is the King who is such because he is

LORD!

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