The King of Glory Comes, The Nation Rejoices

11-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King which also officially marks the end of the liturgical year A. Next weekend, we begin the season of Advent to prepare for the birth of this great King. Yes, don’t we all admire a great leader? Particularly here in the United States I often hear people insisting on having strong leaders; leaders who can lead us to the common good, to prosperity, to peace and stability, to achieving our “American Dream”.

Much as these are our desires for a great leader, unfortunately, all leaders are flawed. Even those who rise to great prominence, eventually either run out of favor or out of life itself. History has demonstrated this over and over again of many potentially great leaders who fail to maintain the great qualities they had when they assumed office because they eventually became corrupt along the way!

An example in the scriptures which comes to my mind is that of King David who was chosen by the elders among many of his brothers as the best and strongest possible leader of them all and subsequently crowned King. At the beginning, David did extremely well, because he had many talents and gifts. He was a great warrior but also a smooth negotiator and a man of peace.

Most importantly however, David was led by the Lord God in whom he put his trust. At the beginning, he kept God at the center of his leadership and as long as he did that, everything went great, he exhibited all the qualities of a great king and was loved by the people. It was only when he began to forget God and focus on his ego and selfish desires that he fell into terrible sins and then, things began to go badly for him.

Dear friends, what happened to David and other great leaders in history also happens to us in many cases. We are all destined to lead in our unique ways, at least, at some level, even if only as spouses of a family, as mother, as father or as student leaders. Usually, we start out well. Our youth, our education, our family background, the good company we keep, may assist us in doing what we must do in our role as a leader. However, when we begin to take things for granted, when we begin to compromise important values and surround ourselves with bad company, and worse, when we become self-centered and push God out of our way, then, things begin to fall apart. Unfortunately, when we finally begin to realize our terrible mistakes, it is often too late because too much damage will have already been done!

Fortunately, for us, the leader we celebrate this weekend is one to whom we can look for guidance and direction at every moment of our journey, here. That leader is none other than Jesus Christ himself, the King of the Universe. Indeed, He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings par excellence!

He was the greatest leader, the greatest king who ever lived and there will be no other like him. He was able to change the cause of world history because he always kept God at the center of his kingship.

Indeed, the human Jesus faced all the difficulties and tribulations that we all must face. He was no stranger to temptations, pain, and emotional suffering. Yet, He never ceased doing the will of His Father in all things. Never, did He choose his human will over the Father’s Divine Will. That’s why He always prayed up to the very end and maintained his regal dignity even when, dying on the cross. He was mocked, ridiculed, and reviled by his enemies but He never lost His kingship. That’s why interestingly, even in their very act of taunting Him, they mockingly used the very titles they wanted to deny Him. They inscribed above Him: INRI, (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum) meaning “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.

So dear friends let this great Solemnity always remind us to keep this well decorated King at the center of our lives and hearts. May He be the Leader we must follow, a Brother who walks with us and a Leader who heals our brokenness and the brokenness of our world. Let us also pray that this same King of the Universe may bring peace in the Holy Land, in the Middle East and in the entire universe.

I love you!