Homily by Fr Carlos – 12/1/17

In our modern time we do not have much contact with kings.  Most of us have grew in a democratic way of life..  What we hear about kings is most often extravagant, old fashioned, outlandish and expensive.  The people bear the burden of their expenses for travels and allowances.  They are very rich and most of the time have a life of their own far from the life of their subjects.  Their function nowadays is mostly to be a symbol of unity of  the nation.

In biblical times Kings are not exalted by their power and wealth and skills in governing their people.  The king is depicted as a good Shepherd defending his sheep from lions and bears risking his own life, and that is what David continued doing during most of his kingship:  Defending Israel against her enemies, the Philistines and others so that his son Solomon could be ruling during a time of peace and prosperity.   The Kings of Israel suffered the wrath of God for not taking care of His sheep not the King’s.  Even David did not act like a true shepherd with Uriah.

Jesus mission was to preach of the coming of God’s kingdom.  Jesus is the king of this kingdom.   But he is a most unusual King; he is a crucified king.  And from his royal throne on the cross he extends his royal invitation to his subjects.  “If anyone will come after me he must pick up his cross daily and follow me.  In Baptism we have accepted this invitation.  There are no states in this Kingdom that are more perfect than any other.  Everyone is called to reach the potential that he has been given.  It is a most unusual kingdom.  The greatest in the Kingdom are the children.  The weak conquer the strong, the foolish confound the wise and a camel gets through the eye of a needle, we add by subtracting and multiply by dividig because nothing is impossible with God.  Then there  is this most unbelievable thing.  There is only one law.  The law of love.  Kingdoms of the world are more complicated than that.

Christ is king not because he wants to be high above us, but because he identifies himself with us.  No earthly king does that.  (Cite the Prince and the Pauper the Undercover ).  At the end the prince goes back to his throne, announces edicts that benefit the people; and the undercover boss to his office and initiates reform in the various branches of the company and rewards those who are faithful.

Christ does more than that.   At the end of time all kings and nations will appear before his throne.  He will separate the sheep from the goats.  And the reason for the separation is that the good subjects saw the needy and helped them the unconcerned  subjects did not.  In Christ’s  Kingdom the most salient and crucial characteristic is this:  To help the needy is not merely a good deed done to a neighbor, a fellow subject of the king.  The helper is dealing with the king himself.    Christ lives in his subjects.  No king ever does that.  Usually there is a barrier between  king and subjects:  pedigree, level of education, fine manners and social grace etc qualities we seldom see in subject unless they are nobles.  But with Jesus

these barriers do not exist.   This king dignifies everyone in his kingdom.  If one has refused to help a needy he or she did it to their king.  There seems to be only one entity that lives in this kingdom, that is, they have shared the honor and glory of the king.  They have become kings themselves by virtue of Christ the King living in them.   The king teaches his subjects to be meek and humble.  To go through life bravely carrying their cross just as he would accompany them in carrying their crosses.  This king does not shun away from being weak.  He is a king who will meet the greatest enemy ever to threaten his kingdom which is death;  not by eliminating it by power but meeting it on its own term, to die himself and be victorious over it by bringing life that will no longer under the dominion of death.  no kings on earth has ever conquered  this enemy.  That is why the barriers are artficial and pretentious in the earthly kingdom because the king and his subjects are under the same spell of death and if all dies the barriers no longer matter.  Jesus is King because he removed those barriers by being one with his subjects and living in them as St. Paull realized.  Jesus is king because there is no longer any enemy that could threaten the subjects of his kingdom.  In Christ’s Kingdom human beings attain their fullest dignity which no one can take away from them.  While on earth its members expose the lie of the barriers of the earthly kingdom.  The one law of Love becomes a reality