Sunday Gospel reflections: What kind of king is Christ?
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
The Solemnity of Christ the King seems at times to be out of place in democratic societies. If a king is understood to be one who rules with absolute power, this image runs counter to what we consider the ideal government. The readings of this Sunday use the image of a king, but with a twist. The king as presented in both 2 Samuel and Luke is far from the despot who rules with absolute power.
In 2 Samuel we see the elders anointing David as king over Israel. David was chosen to be a king who would act as shepherd of the people — to protect and care for the flock, assuring their life and safety. David’s kingship was not about personal power but about guaranteeing that the people of Israel would live and proclaim the power of God.
The Gospel scene that proclaims the kingship of Jesus is, surprisingly, the crucifixion. Only on the cross is Jesus proclaimed king. This is neither a scene of power for himself nor glory from a human perspective. It is in his utter helplessness that Jesus is recognized as king, and in this moment Jesus thinks not of himself but of another.
This Sunday we celebrate a king whose life was centered on caring for others, offering life to others. This image of Christ as king is one that every Christian is invited to imitate.
— Sr. Barbara Bozak, CSJ
2 Samuel 5:1-3
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5