Christ the King [c]

Engaging Faith | Fri, Nov 12, 2010

By John Bucki, SJ

The Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King [c]

November 21, 2010



     2 Samuel 5:1-3

     Colossians 1:12-20

     Luke 23:35-43



November 25: Thanksgiving in the United States

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

November 26: Buy-Nothing Day in the US




“… the reign of God is making headway - and for this I am grateful. Do continue to be Spirit-filled and challenging.”   

Sister Dorothy Kazel, O.S.U


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.

Pope John Paul II


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


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


Thoughts for your consideration


(1) In the gospel, many people (and especially the leaders) sneer at Jesus – a king on the cross – a human person with no apparent power – a failure. Their concept of “kingship” is that of power over others or domination and control.  However, the “kingship” of Jesus centers on relationship and community – service and solidarity – sacrifice and love.


(2) In the gospel dialogue, we are reminded that true “kingship” or true authority is reflected in mercy. Jesus, in the midst of the pain of injustice and violence and criticism, in his time of suffering and death, proclaims mercy to the criminal.


(3) In the second reading, Paul speaks of a peace that comes through the “blood of the cross.”  In this time of war and terrorism, it is important for us to hear the call of God to a peace that comes through the Way of Jesus crucified – a peace that comes from a God who shares our struggles and our suffering.


(4) The first reading gives voice to the people’s desire for a king – for leadership.  Do they know what they are asking for?  In the years that follow Israel will experience the good and the not so good in kingly leadership. In the process, Israel will be called again and again to be faithful to values that transcend any trust in earthly political or military power. 


(5) All the scriptures today invite us to find our power and strength in God – a God who rules over everything in a new way – a way of compassion and mercy – a way of empowerment and liberation – a way of solidarity and love.


(6) The rule of Jesus Christ contrasts with the way political power if often used in our world. We have much to learn.



Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group


Think of leaders have you met or even worked with. 

Who seems best to embody the spirit of Jesus?




In the United States politics seems to many to have taken on a very combative tone. The political conversation seems to be dominated by strong pundits and divisive opinions.  What does the spirit of Jesus as reflected in today’s readings have to teach us in our present reality?



Actions - Links


It's About Time to Invest in Africa's Farmers:

Ask Congress to Fund the Fight Against Hunger.

“Congress is considering cutting the budget for the current fiscal year--and agriculture stands to take the biggest hit. Let's ask Congress to make sure that Africa's farmers have the tools that they need to fight hunger and beat poverty for the long term.”

The One Campaign invites you to sign their petition.


Urge Senators to Ratify the New START Treaty

The Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest, invites you to urge your senator to ratify the new treaty with Russia to control nuclear weapons.


“Crazy facts”


“Last year, after a personal appeal from President Obama in which he cited his own family’s experiences in Kenya, world leaders gathered at the Italian hill town of L’Aquila pledged $20 billion over three years to help millions of the world’s poorest farmers grow enough food to feed themselves — a “landmark achievement” organizers said in a report.  A year and a half later, barely $1 billion has come in, mostly from the United States. Canada, Spain, South Korea and the Gates Foundation recently promised around $400 million, but many donors have been shifting old aid pledges into the new fund, and counting them twice.  After aid groups examined the numbers of the L’Aquila announcement, they found that only around $6 billion of the $20 billion would be new money, were it to materialize in the next three years.”


Prayers of Intercession

Response:  May God’s spirit rule over the world.

For our government leaders that they may do what is right and just for all the people, we pray….

For our religious leaders that they may serve with wisdom and love, we pray….

For all those with economic power, especially those controlling large corporations, we pray….

For those with military power or the power to dominate, control, and terrorize others, we pray….

For those who use their power to abuse others, we pray….

For all those who are poor, powerless, hungry, or sick, we pray….

For those who do not enjoy their basic human rights, we pray….




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 got 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 seems 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.