The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King [b]

Engaging Faith | Fri, Nov 13, 2009

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King [b]

November 22, 2009


Daniel 7:13-14

Revelation 1:5-8

John 18:33b-37


November 22: Memorial Gathering in Georgia to remember those killed by people trained at the US Army School at Fort Benning

November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 26: Thanksgiving Day in the United States

November 27/28: Buy Nothing Day

November 29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People


Violence puts the brakes on authentic development and impedes the evolution of peoples towards greater socio-economic and spiritual well-being.

Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 29

Christ crucified and risen, the Wisdom of God, manifests the truth that divine justice and renewing power leavens the world in a way different from the techniques of dominating violence. The victory of shalom is won not by the sword of the warrior god, but by the awesome power of compassionate love, in and through solidarity with those who suffer. … Above all, the cross is raised as a challenge to the natural rightness of male dominating rule. The crucified Jesus embodies the exact opposite of the patriarchal ideal of the powerful man, and shows the steep price to be paid in the struggle for liberation.

Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 159-160

The kingship of Jesus Christ, according to the world's criteria, is paradoxical: it is the triumph of love, accomplished in the mystery of the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Son of God. This saving kingship is fully revealed in the sacrifice of the Cross, the supreme act of mercy in which the salvation and judgment of the world are simultaneously brought about.

John Paul II

Today in our situation the authenticity of the people of God goes by way of poverty and justice: they are the touchstone of the truth of the faith that is professed and of the genuineness of life as it is lived out: poverty, which involves incarnating all our efforts and incarnating ourselves in the reality of the oppressed majorities, and that will necessarily entail a voluntary impoverishment and abnegation on the part of those who wield power; justice, which involves giving to the people what belongs to the people and struggling to uproot injustice and exploitation, and to establish a new earth, wherein the life of the new human may be possible.

~Ignacio Ellacuría SJ, martyred in ElSalvador in 1989

Peace is not merely the absence of war. Nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies. Nor is it brought about by dictatorship. Instead, it is rightly and appropriately called "an enterprise of justice" (Is. 32:7). Peace results from that harmony built into human society by its divine founder, and actualized by men and women as they thirst after ever greater justice.

Vatican II, The Church in the Modern World, #78

Thoughts for your consideration

The authority of Jesus comes from the power of the truth (John 18) and comes "out of the heavens" (Daniel 7). In other words, it comes from someplace other than the kingly power represented by Pilate. It does not come out of military power, economic domination, threats of violence and abuse, the consumption of or accumulation of things, popularity contests, presentations in the media, or even election results. It comes out of the power of truth and compassionate love.

The authority of Jesus does not simply make us people who have authority exercised over us. Revelation reminds us that we become the kingdom; we become a nation where all are priests; we all share authority. This vision becomes a model for our own way of exercising healthy Christian authority and living out the social teaching of the church.


One way to understand the "kingship of Jesus Christ" is to look at the images that are offered us in the scriptures. When Jesus is born it is to a homeless family. When he travels around as a teacher, he seems to have no permanent home or dwelling and virtually no possessions. When Jesus enters Jerusalem it is on a donkey (not on a mighty horse or chariot). In the gospel, the kingly Jesus is a prisoner of Pilate and will be put to death.

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

1. What is an example in your experience of someone exercising healthy Christian authority?

2. What is an example in your experience of someone exercising unhealthy authority over others?

Actions - Links

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The United Nations’ General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. They invite "… governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on that day. Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961)." For more info go to

Health Care Reform Legislation

Network, the Catholic Social Justice Lobby, invites people to write their senators to urge them to pass health care reform before Christmas. Go to:

Sixth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees

The Sixth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees took place at the Vatican from November 9 to 12. For a news story about Pope Benedict’s address go to:

The church invites all Christians to open their hearts to migrants and their families knowing that they are not just a 'problem,' but are a 'resource'" that can contribute to true development and the good of all people.

"Crazy Facts"

Violence Against Women

"Out of ten counties surveyed in a 2005 study by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 50 percent of women in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and Tanzania reported having been subjected to physical or sexual violence by intimate partners, with figures reaching staggering 71 percent in rural Ethiopia. Only in one country (Japan) did less than 20 percent of women report incidents of domestic violence. An earlier WHO study puts the number of women physically abused by their partners or ex-partners at 30 percent in the United Kingdom, and 22 percent in the United States."

Economic Policy Institute ● November 6 , 2009 ● fact sheet:

• Number of Americans with no health insurance in 2008: 46.3 million

• Number of Americans projected to have no health insurance by 2010: more than 50 million

• Percent of U.S. population living in poverty in 2008: 13.2%

• Percent of U.S. children living in poverty in 2008: 19%

• Percent of African American children living in poverty in 2008: 34.7%

State by state data about the need for Health Care Reform

from the Center for American Progress can be found at:

Prayers of Intercession

Response: God, may the spirit of Jesus rule over us all.

For those who have authority and power in our world, that they may use their power to promote the common good of all people, we pray….

For those who are without political power in our world, may they be empowered to take their rightful place in our world order, we pray….

For our church and all its people, that we may be a community united by a healthy exercise of authority, we pray….

For those who in our nation who do not have adequate health care, that we can reform our system to provide quality care for all, we pray….

For immigrants and refugees, that they may be welcomed and respected in all the nations of our world, we pray….

For the elimination of violence against all human persons, especially violence against women, we pray…..

For those who suffer from HIV/AIDS and their families, especially those without access to the medicines which they need, we pray….

For all of us that we way continue to rejoice in our gifts, live in a spirit of gratitude, and share what we have, we pray….

Prayer - Meditation

God we need a little more healing:

Something in all of us likes a lot of power and control.

We have ended up spending billions on weapons,

We have weapons that can destroy the whole world.

Somehow we get ourselves into the business of selling weapons to others.

Too many young men and women are trained for war which nobody wants.

Too many people are hungry and afraid.

God we need a little more healing.

God we need a little more healing:

Something in all of us likes a lot of power and control.

We worry about money and food and clothes and things.

We end up buying things we don’t need.

We end up working too much.

We end up filled with things and worry.

Somehow we end up with a world where some are very rich.

We end up with a world where some are very poor.

We end up with a world where some have no work.

We end up with a world in which some are overworked.

God we need a little more healing.

God we need a little more healing:

Something in all of us likes a lot of power and control.

Some people end up with a lot of power.

Some people end up with making all the big decisions.

Some of our brothers and sisters never get listened to.

Somehow our politics becomes a politics of the rich or of the few.

Our democracy becomes less democratic.

Money and prestige and status are in charge.

Skin color or ethnic group or gender seem to matter too much.

God we need a little more healing.

God we need a little more healing:

Something in all of us likes a lot of power and control.

We don’t know how to let go.

We don’t know how to be free.

We don’t know how to be ourselves.

Sometimes we are bound by all our fears.

We don’t know how to be active and nonviolent.

We don’t know what to do at all.

God we need a little more healing.