We give our allegiance to Christ our King - Feast of Christ the King 2019

Decrease font size
Increase font size
Print this page
Home > Archbishop > Homilies > We give our allegiance to Christ our King - Feast of Christ the King 2019

Today the Church celebrates this great feast declaring Jesus Christ as Universal King. The Gospel reading from St Luke takes us to the crucifixion of Jesus. It may seem surprising that instead of focusing on the glory of the Lord we contemplate his humiliation and suffering.

The Church declares, as the Holy Scriptures proclaim, that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We profess that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 22:13) – the beginning and end of history.

Yet today the Church reminds us that Christ the King reigns from the cross.

The Church’s faith in the kingship of Christ is expressed in these beautiful words from the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes (45):

The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the desires of history and civilization, the centre of mankind, the joy of all hearts and the fulfilment of all aspirations. It is he whom the Father raised from the dead, exalted and placed at his right hand, constituting him judge of the living and the dead. Animated and drawn together in his Spirit we press onwards on our journey towards the consummation of history which fully corresponds to the plan of his love: “To unite all things in him, things in Heaven and things on earth.”

Christ is indeed the goal of human history and the fulfilment of the aspirations of every human heart. He is the true source of authentic human society.

Today as we honour our king, the Church wants us to understand the true nature of his kingship by taking us to Calvary. Here is our king reigning from the cross. Because it is the cross that actually reveals the true character of our king and the nature of his kingship.

Jesus is the servant king who ensures that his Kingdom is established for us. His kingdom has come among us so that we can participate in the life of the Kingdom even now. Now through our faith in him we share in the life of the kingdom.
And we have the promise of entering into the glory of his kingdom at the end of time. What the Lord said to the criminal on the cross next to him – “today you will be with me in paradise”- is a hope and promise each of us receive as well. The Lord brings in his kingdom so that sinners like us may be granted eternal life with him.

The Cross is in fact the Tree of Life. The death of our king was the perfect sacrifice that redeemed humanity. In our king’s offering of himself on our behalf we are made citizens of heaven. We are offered salvation, and heaven has been opened to us.

Our king is the king who has offered himself in sacrifice for us. There is no king like this king. St Paul declares, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Col 1:19-20) All the fullness of God was in him yet he came to reconcile us to his Father by dying on the cross, and has made peace by his blood shed on the cross.

The Church, in declaring its faith today in Christ the universal king, places itself at the service of Jesus Christ, that his Kingdom, which is the kingdom of righteousness, love and peace, will come and spread, renew humanity and indeed all things, and so transform human society.

For the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

Today let us offer our allegiance to Jesus Christ our King.
In this moment let us imagine that we are standing before Christ our Lord. He is in glory, surrounded by the angels, worshipped by the saints. We hear them cry, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing!” (Rev 5:12)

St John testifies in the Book of Revelations, “And I heard every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise and honour and glory and power forever and ever!” (Rev 5:13)

Behold this scene described by the Apostle in a moment of ecstatic vision.  Gaze upon your king. You are among the saints and angels and you behold his glory and splendour.
Declare your allegiance. Today as the Church joyfully proclaims Jesus as universal king, let us respond in great faith and confidence.

Let our prayer be:

Jesus, you are King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I bow before you. This day I swear my allegiance to you. I will faithfully follow you and serve you all the days of my life. You are the Lord of my life. I give over everything I am and possess to you. Lord Jesus, be the master of my heart, the healer of my soul, the way to fullness of joy in your presence.

Archbishop Julian Porteous
Sunday, 24 November 2019