Fr Thomas’ Homily for the Feast of Christ the King

Christ An Influential King

For us it is the Solemnity of Christ the King, but for the sporting world the World Cup championship competition is commencing in Qatar. With this event, Qatar, a kingdom about the size of the greater Sydney is attracting the attention of the world for more than one reason. In preparation for the World Cup, it has been transformed with a new metro, skyscrapers, highways, new Universities, museums and most of all seven new stadiums. While the kingdom wants to bathe in the glory of these achievements, the International Labour Organisation and the media expose a dark side of the development. In the nine years of building facilities, many of the media say that there were 6,500 work related deaths.  Qatar has very poor human rights records and it lacks in safe working practices.  Human tragedies and injustice, unlike ancient times, has become a concern for everybody.  It is the Christian values that makes us concerned about injustice and related human issues.  All those who have received Christ’s message may not associate themselves with the Church or call themselves Christians. But the message of Christ is deep rooted in the heart and mind of most civilizations that evil against the human dignity and peace do not go unnoticed. Yes, in a sense, Jesus Christ has taken over the rule of the world. But the disciples of Jesus are to keep working on human dignity and fight against injustice to strengthen the rule of Christ. But violence is not the way to achieve it.

Jesus was unique in his fight against the evil. At a time when Jewish population tried armed fight against the evil dominion of the Roman Empire, Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is gained through mercy and compassion. He showed how to repair the broken lives so that they can commence a new beginning with all the excitement and beauty of a new born. The joy we bring about by lifting the fallen and mending the broken is something no money can buy. In fact the ultimate meaning of life depends on our ability to reach out to the needy with mercy and compassion.

No wonder the disciples of Jesus have been reaching out to the needy always. For last two thousand years Church has been busy feeding the poor, seeking justice for the refugees and other disadvantaged, building schools, hospitals, aged care facilities, and setting up social actions programs and movements. The peace, joy, and human dignity brought about by the missionaries and the disciples of Jesus Christ are amazing. Yet many fail to see it, or may be refusing to acknowledge it.

In early twentieth century Pope Pius XI saw that the world focussed is more concerned about making money through industrial revolution then anything else. In such a situation, Communism was an attempt to stand for the poor workers, but it devalued Christ and his message. Starting in Russia in 1917 with a revolution, communism was to take hold of about one third of the world population towards the end of twentieth century. Compassion and mercy did not count in Communism. It always had been ruthless. Anticipating the disaster Communism will bring about, Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King. He wanted the world to know that only Christ can provide proper human dignity and fullness of life. All other ideologies will fail, and it was proved towards the end of last century.

The world at large may not be in the iron grip of Communism any more. But by and large the world, especially the western culture is focussed more on money than on human dignity. Anti-religious agendas are dominating social discussions. We need to defy it by intentionally subjecting ourselves to the wisdom, inspiration, and influence of Christ in our personal life as well as in our society. Let us share Pope Pius’ hope and vision. Pius XI hoped that the feast of the Kingship of Christ may hasten the return of society to our loving Saviour.”