Christ the King, Year B – 25 November 2012.

At the outset let us anchor our reflection on some verses from two of this SUNDAY’S READINGS [REVELATION 1: 5 – 8, & THE GOSPEL – JOHN 18: 33b – 37].

The New Testament extract proclaims “I am the Alpha and the Omega … who is and who was and who is to come.”{I am unsure of the reason but the KNOX TRANSLATION adds to the first part: “the beginning of all things and their end.”}

Then, our Gospel extract records the Lord proclaiming: “You say I am a king … for this was I born.”

YES! Jesus Christ IS a king – but we must be careful, however, not see this kingship in terms of history or even most contemporary examples. In the Gospel extract Jesus himself says “my kingdom is not of this world.”

What this Sunday’s celebration seeks to establish clearly in our minds is the CENTRALITY OF CHRIST – the Alpha and Omega. In addition, let us not overlook KNOX’S ‘addition’ of “the beginning of all things and their end.”

Is Jesus Christ central to our lives? Is he the beginning and end of all we do, think, hope, work, and plan for? Jesus was born to be just this!

It is interesting (informative and challenging) that the Liturgical Year ends (the Omega) with this emphasis, and begins the new year with Advent, which focuses our attention on the coming of Jesus – his birth (the Alpha) into the world. “For this was I born.”

What was the Christian disciple born for? What were we baptised into and for? The answer to both questions is the same: to make Jesus Christ first and last in our lives; to ensure that he IS the beginning and end of all our undertakings. He must become the beginning and end of our marriages, our parenthood, our priesthood, labours, recreation, endeavours, ambitions and achievements. He should be ‘king’ of our living. At our baptisms we were anointed with chrism (the oil of commitment) as the celebrant proclaimed – “as Christ was anointed … SO MAY YOU LIVE.

At once let us latch on to some other words of Jesus recorded in our Gospel extract. There, the Lord proclaims that his kingship was “to bear witness to the truth.” If Jesus Christ is our KING, then we are called to be TRUTHFUL – to be FULL OF TRUTH, from beginning to end. Christian disciples are called, and empowered, to be truthful in the lives they lead. What do we do with this call and empowerment?

Two points for particular reflection emerge. In the first instance we will need to ask whether in many situations the official, bureaucratic, Church has lost the plot? How transparent and truthful is this part of the Church in so many of its activities? Secondly, how do we ourselves cope with complex situations and challenges? Do we hedge our bets, dither around the truth, and adopt different ‘faces’ to different situations?

Today’s PSALM [93 or 92] tells us that the Lord’s “decrees are to be trusted,”and that “holiness is fitting to your house.” If we wish to be ‘whole’ (holy) disciples we have to trust the truth of the Lord’s decrees. In these we will find TRUTH. The truth of the beginning – and of the end. The centrality of Christ the King!

Finally, let us look at THIS SUNDAY’s’S OLD TESTAMENT READING [DANIEL 7: 13 – 14]. Jesus Christ is king of the truth which “does not pass away, shall not be destroyed.” This is why and how Jesus Christ is King, and “all people, nations, and languages” are able” to serve him.

Anything which is not truthful is not of Jesus Christ.