Who is the ruler and king of your life? Is it God, in the second person of the Trinity, King Jesus? Perhaps something in this earthly life separates us from our best self as adopted sons and daughters of God (Rom. 8:15, Gal 3:26)? If we recall, the greatest commandment that Jesus gave us while on earth when answering the teachers of the law, it is to “love the Lord your God with all your soul, mind and all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.” Such a simple didactic summarizing the totality of the law written upon our hearts should remind us of what a most wise and merciful ruler we have in Jesus.
Today the Catholic church recalls Jesus Christ as being the Lord and King of the Universe (both earth and heaven). The recognition of such a memorial within the liturgical calendar was first initiated by Pope Pius XI in 1925 to be celebrated in late October. Pope St. Paul VI later changed the liturgical commemoration of Christ the King to the Sunday before the start of the Advent season which is appropriate given the salvific gift that our King came to bestow on His people.
It is so easy to get caught up in the limited vision of life here on earth and forget our true calling as disciples of Jesus. Life can be messy and is filled with strife, anxiety, vice/sin, and a world that is far from perfect. Being able to prepare for the upcoming liturgical season of Advent that follows, where we enter into a penitential state of life for the preparation of the light and majestic glory to come to us with the coming of the kingly Christ child is one that reminds us of what today’s solemnity is all about. By reflecting on the first coming of Jesus as a lowly baby born in a manger is quite a different perspective compared to our typical image of earthly kings. After all, Jesus was not born to a wealthy earthly king in a castle crib, but to a carpenter from Nazareth, and to a lowly woman named Mary who was chosen to bear the new ark of the covenant.
This King of ours was met with resistance from the very start when earthly king Herod wanted to kill our King Jesus for his mortal quest for power without regard to the eternal life all of us have awaiting us in the kingdom of heaven. His crown was one of thorns being placed on his head. His rings were nails being driven into his hands and feet. Our king’s ultimate price was his having to shed his blood for the salvation for all of His creation for our King’s love is infinite with no earthly limitation.
On this day, let us humbly and prayerfully reflect on how we can ask Jesus to come into our life and be the ruler of our heart and very soul. May we be transformed by our King’s ruling benevolence and love He has to bring about peace and joy to his chosen people. As the composer, Father Martin B. Hellriegel, reminds us of with his liturgical song coming out before the rise of the third reich in Germany and World War II, we should be reminded of the following (https://aleteia.org/blogs/aleteia-blog/hymn-of-the-week-to-jesus-christ-our-sovereign-king/):
Christ Jesus Victor!
Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!