Where Christ Reigns
Last week we deliberated on the end of time. This week we celebrate the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, to mark the end of the current liturgical year. Next week is the first week of Advent, the beginning of a new Church liturgical year. The weeks seem to progress seamlessly. With Jesus standing astride both liturgical church periods, he knits into a continuous timeline the end and the beginning. When Jesus' influence is writ large upon our day-to-day living, our time and experiences on earth will have meaning and purpose. If and when we permit Jesus to have dominion over our world, he will tie up all the loose ends of our time and universe because he is "the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty" (Rv 1:8).
In this Sunday mass Gospel reading from John 18, the Jewish nation and the chief priests and Pilate rejected the kingship of Jesus over their world and life just as our modern world has thrown away Jesus and is deaf to his voice of truth. Yet, the kinship of Jesus testifies to the truth. Jesus says, "Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice" (Jn 18:37). The kingdom of Jesus is not of this world, yet his kingdom is present wherever and whenever his children carry out his will. When we pray in the Lord's prayer for God's kingdom to come on earth, we do so with the proviso that we carry out his will on earth as all celestial messengers do in heaven. The dominion of Christ over the world depends on our acceptance of his divine will. In all spheres of our life, Christ must be at the wheel. To the extent we allow Jesus' will be done in our life, to that extent shall he reign.
As St. Clement wrote centuries ago, "where Jesus Christ is, there is His reign to be found." The establishment of His reign or kingdom begins here on earth when we yield our heart, will, mind, soul, body, and actions to him. Christ reigns where there is a perfect submission of our wills to his. He reigns where there is a firm belief in revealed truth and teachings about him. Wherever people strive to keep his commandments, Christ reigns there. He reigns where we dedicate our bodies and members to his service alone. Finally, Jesus reigns wherever people of goodwill carry our his will. For our world to know true peace and perfect love, "all peoples, nations, and languages" must serve him (Dn 7:14).
In Christ our Lord,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, OP