Jesus is King, and we must belong not to the world but to His truth and kingdom

Carla Oliver

Living the Word / By Carla Oliver

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe / Nov. 21

Daniel 7:13-14; Psalm 93:1,1-2,5; Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33b-37

Praised be Jesus Christ, Now and Forever! As we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, I always reflect on this day with a mix of emotions. Similarly to what I feel on New Year’s Eve, I take the time as this liturgical year ends to reflect and see what accomplishments, goals, and achievements I have made. Perhaps uniquely, I reflect over these things in regard to my spiritual life. Admittedly, there is usually more disappointment in myself for the lack of commitment to my goals or embracing distractions.

A stained-glass window depicting “Christ the King and Lord of the Universe.” (CNS/Chaz Muth)

Historically the Church added this solemnity to the liturgical calendar to remind us of the dominion invested in Jesus and the eternal reign that is bestowed upon him through the triumph over death. It is a great reminder that Jesus is King and remains King even through my shortcomings. In my reflections — in all of our reflections — we must be constantly reminded of this fact: Jesus is King.

As Daniel says, “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14) Daily, the world tries to sway us from the belief of this goodness. There is a battle being waged on the basic foundation of our faith: Jesus is true God and true man and we belong not to the world but to His kingdom. What great peace and confidence there is to be found!

Though the things of the world may perish, Jesus remains the same today, tomorrow, and forever. He came to conquer death and to create a place for you and me in the kingdom of heaven. He is King!

This is His mission, and no earthly authority can prevent Christ from carrying it out.

IMITATORS OF CHRIST

As we recount Jesus’ exchange with Pilate, it is tempting to view Jesus as the world may see him — defeated. Pilate questions him: “Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” Through a worldly scope, one might think that Jesus misled his people and that He has no power or true authority.

But our Lord continues to model virtue and inspires imitable actions as He proclaims His victory: “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37)

As modern-day disciples, it is our best defense to turn to the Scriptures and equip ourselves with the knowledge of truth, with the testaments of the holy men and women who have gone before. We are to be imitators of Christ all the days of our lives. Just as Jesus says to Pilate, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice,” we, too, must belong to His truth and listen to His voice — no matter what the world says.

As we wrap up the liturgical year and head into a new cycle of readings, may we have fresh eyes to see what is awaiting us, fresh ears to hear how we are being called to be disciples, and pure hearts to seek our place in the kingdom of heaven. This weekend, when we say the Creed at Mass, may we make a proud emphasis as we rejoice and say “His kingdom will have no end!”

Carla Oliver is the administrative assistant in the diocesan Office of Vocations. A 2014 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, she has four years of teaching experience. She also served for two years as a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), which included leading Bible studies. She can be reached at coliver@cdop.org.

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