Tomorrow we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It’s a pretty epic title for Our Lord, and a day when we celebrate his sovereignty over everything – even sin and death. But Jesus did not earn His kingship through His crucifixion, death, and resurrection. As the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, He was, is, and always will be the Lord of all. That fact makes it all the more powerful when we look at a crucifix and see Christ Crucified as Christ the King.
Father Ben Cameron, a priest with the Fathers of Mercy, stopped by The Inner Life®, to discuss Christ the King, and what this kingship means for us in our life of faith.
Fr. Cameron pointed out that when we look at a crucifix, “It doesn’t really fit with how we think of kingship, and it may not even fit with how we think of His kingship, but there are some lessons in there as far as what His kingship is really about.”
He acknowledged that nowadays kings don’t have much impact or authority in our everyday lives, but that the concept of Christ’s kingship is different than any other concept of kingship that we have. It goes beyond it.
“He’s the king of the whole universe, He’s the king of our souls, He wants to be king of our hearts, He wants to have a loyalty from us that is beyond that of any earthly king,” Fr. Cameron said.
In looking upon Christ Crucified as Christ the King, the Gospels show us the different ways to respond to His kingship.
Father Cameron pointed out that there were two others crucified with Christ, and their interactions show us how we are to understand His kingship. Fr. Cameron said, “The one mocking our Lord said, ‘Save yourself and us!’ He wanted his earthly life to be saved. And the other one understands that eternal life is what really matters. He accepts his death for his crimes, but he sees that eternal life is what really matters.”
This example invites us to examine our own lives, and what we are focused on. Are we interested in serving God for our earthly lives and earthly gain? Or are we focused on eternity?
“For every one of us there is going to come a day that we are going to die,” he said. “And in that moment of death we are going to meet God face to face, and we are going to have to answer to Him for the way we lived and how we responded to His grace. Have we really been loyal to Him in our choices? In where we have set our priorities? How we run our society? How we run our businesses? How we have conducted our family life and our marriages? All of those things we’re going to have to answer to God for.”
“We have to recognize that He is our king. He is absolutely just, perfect goodness, perfect holiness, and He expects great things from us. It gives us the ability to respond to Him by grace, but we’re going to have to answer to Him for how we did.”
Christ the King, come and reign in our hearts!