Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

By Deacon Turf D. Martin

                “King” is a word we do not normally use to describe Jesus because we associate the word “king” with power and majesty and Jesus did not display power or majesty. If you heard someone describing Jesus as king, you might reply “but he was born in a stable.” True, Jesus was not the kingly, majestic type. When Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said they could all be his if Jesus worshipped him (Luke 4:5-7), Jesus replied that only God is to be worshipped (Luke 4:8). Satan offered a temptation to display power, but Jesus resisted that temptation always. Jesus avoided all shows of earthly power and authority.

                Jesus is a king because he has a kingdom, but his kingdom is totally at odds with any display of power. Some people like to dominate others, abuse their power, and manipulate others. That has no place in Jesus’ kingdom. Those with power can unfortunately abuse their power in so many ways but Jesus was totally powerless on the cross; people said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the Christ of God.” (Luke 23:35) The values in Jesus’ kingdom are service and humility. If we want to be great, we must be like children (Luke 18:17). We are to carry our cross after Jesus every day (Luke 14:27). There is no place for violence or retribution in Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus is a king, but his kingdom is not of this world. It was because nations and states were abusing their power that Pope Pius XI introduced the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Chris the King in 1925. This is only a recent feast in the Church, and abuse of power is what led to its introduction—using power in the opposite way to Jesus. Jesus did not abuse power, and he is our model. There is no envy or greed or lust for power in Jesus.