Homily for Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (B), 11/15/18:
Daniel 7:13-14; Psalm 98:1-5; Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33-37
By Father Scott Karnik
This is the last Sunday in our liturgical year. This last Sunday always celebrates Jesus Christ as Universal King. It is the “day of the Lord.” God the Father crowns His Son Jesus with kingship and dominion over the universe that God created. This reading from the Book of Daniel happens in the midst of the introduction of the four evil beasts which ravage everyone. There will be unprecedented disaster and grief everywhere. Our wealth will be useless. There will be no peace. God will crown Jesus King in the midst of this chaos. God the Father will give royal power to Jesus Christ as a universal sovereign. Jesus’s power will be everlasting, untransferable, and imperishable. If you read Daniel Chapter Seven, you’ll see the four beasts come from the sea, from the earth. Jesus comes on the clouds. He is the divine king and with His omnipotent power, He will destroy the beasts and establish order amidst this chaos. Jesus is not the successor to any earthly throne. Jesus is Lord over every earthly king. Jesus will reign over His created world. Jesus’s reign will include the imposition of His holy law, His moral order. Holiness becomes His House, His Kingdom. All this describes Jesus the King of the Universe.
His Kingship relates to us. This King gives us “grace and peace”(Rev1:4). Jesus is the “faithful witness”(Rev1:5) He “loves us and has freed us from our sins by His Blood and has made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father,…”(Rev1:5). We are his priestly subjects. We are to glorify Jesus for the salvation we have received. We do not have to wait for the final destruction of evil for the victory. We already owe God thanks for His victory and salvation. Jesus will come again to judge those who reject Him and to take with Him those who follow Him. Judgment oracles like this one are to be read from this perspective. Believers share in Jesus’s royal priesthood. It is a common priesthood, different from the ministerial priesthood others are called to. Jesus has united us with His Body when He offered Himself for us on the Cross. Each of us is a member of the Eternal Priest, Jesus. Jesus’s Kingdom has no earthly origin. Jesus is a different type of king. Jesus is a faithful witness to the truth. He is king of those who hear His Voice and are committed to Him. His kingship and Kingdom are apolitical. Jesus’s coronation as King begins at His Passion and culminated with His Ascension into heaven. Jesus’s dominion as king extends over the whole earth through His Church, her teaching, and her sacramental ministry. That is where we subjects of Jesus come in. You will hear a beautiful description of Jesus Christ’s Kingdom in the preface prayer in the offertory, coming up. Jesus’s Kingdom is described as “an eternal and universal kingdom, a kingdom of truth and light, a kingdom of holiness and grace, and a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.” We receive Jesus in His Sacraments and we conform ourselves to Him. We receive seven virtues to help us. They are the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. God infuses them into us. The seven virtues also include four natural/cardinal virtues: courage/fortitude, justice, prudence, and temperance. The more we accept these virtues and practice them, the more we exercise our common priesthood in Jesus’s kingdom. We can practice these natural virtues to sharpen them and to go against our selfish inclinations. God’s Holy Spirit will guide us, quite frankly, through the teachings of His Church, this one, Holy Mother Church. Jesus gives us sanctifying grace. This sanctifying grace makes us sharers in His divine nature and life, adopted children, and heirs of heaven. Sanctifying grace enables us to act in a divine, holy way and cooperate with Jesus. We do that by being led by His Holy Spirit. We consent to Jesus’s work, Jesus’s word, Jesus’s truth, Jesus’s Kingship. Jesus Christ, our King, will not abandon us. He accompanies us on our mission to help us.
The reason why we must do this is because Jesus’s victory is already won. Jesus is already king. Jesus is so powerful a king that He can speak and His words bring order and victory out of chaos and evil. And He does that. Those same words are now included in the teachings of His Church. The more we follow them, the more we accept His truth, hear His Voice, and follow Him. Through Jesus, His victory will be ours, on that day, when Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, comes again.
February 12, 2017
October 23, 2016
October 2, 2016