(Audio recorded live, 21 November 2021)
Dn. 7:13-14; Ps. 93; Rv. 1:5-8; Jn. 18:33b-37
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This Sunday is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time as well as the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Next Sunday is the start of a new liturgical year as we begin the season of Advent. It is fitting, then, that we celebrate this special Solemnity in honor of the Kingship of our Blessed Lord, who has not only created us in his image and likeness, but has saved us from sin and death through his sacrifice on the cross.
In the Book of Revelation, St. John calls Jesus the firstborn of the dead, and because death has no power over him, he is exalted above all the kings on the earth. That is why Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom does not belong to this world, where men fight for power and riches, rather, Jesus’ kingdom is one of love and mercy, hallmarks of heaven.
The Book of Daniel focuses us on the end time, when the son of man will be seen coming on the clouds of heaven. This image of the Son of man is indeed mysterious, but when we use our Christian lens to interpret this passage, who else could this man be other than Jesus? In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke tells us that Jesus was taken up in a cloud and the angles say that he will return in the same was he was taken up. We see how the early Christians already made the connection between the Son of Man and Jesus, the incarnate Son of God.
Perhaps the most significant part of our readings today is the glorification of the Son of Man. This Jesus, who took upon himself the flesh of man and returned to his heavenly Father, was given dominion, glory, and kingship over all peoples, nations, and languages. It doesn’t get much more catholic, or universal, than that.
And so, as we reflect on the awesome glory and majesty that belongs to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, let us marvel at the reality that he has called each of us to not only be his disciples, but his brothers and sisters. In the Spirit, we have been inextricably joined to Christ, and through Christ to the Father. May our Eucharist, may our thanksgiving, bring us closer to him who formed us after his own image, and may the coming weeks of Advent be for us a time of preparation, expectation, and renewal as we seek to imitate the Master, the one who is and who was and who is to come.