Fr Thomas’ Homily for the Feast of Christ the King

Christ the King

There is a little known fact about St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney.  It is a war memorial church and has a statue of an unknown fallen soldier in the nave!  I was surprised to find it out many years ago.  But it made sense later.  Not one, but two, World Wars dominated the history, especially the western in the twentieth century.  Hence there have been glorification of wars, erection of war memorials in city centres, and dedication of churches to the memories human conflicts.  Misguided patriotism and struggle for supremacy was at the heart of these major conflicts.  Yet what we need is peace, joy, and prosperity, not destructions.  In 1925, then Pope, Pius XI asserted that the most effective way of defence against the destructive forces of the age is to recognise Jesus Christ as king, and the pontiff established the Feast of Christ the King.  Jesus Christ is king, though a different sort.

John’s Gospel presents Jesus as the King.  “Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.  For this I was born” (Jn 18:37).  To Pilate, a king meant regional ruler like Herod, appointed by the Roman Emperor.  Therefore, Pilate could not acknowledge Jesus as king. What he did not know was that Jesus’ kingship was not like Herod’s or any other worldly monarch.  The rule of Christ was non-violent.  Humility, compassion, and love are the characters of Christ’s rule.  Jesus Christ did not load his authority over his subjects.  As an ideal king he is always at our service.

Who do you think now represent Christ the King?  It is not just pope and bishops that represent Christ the King.  Every baptised person, through the anointing with Holy Chrism is formally set apart to represent Christ.  Now look into your own life and see how you reflect Christ the King.  You do not want to be in conflict with everyone like the war mongrels.  What we want is a life of peace, joy, and prosperity for ourselves and others.  Therefore, through your service-orientated life, witness to the world that Christ is your king, and proclaim that he is the King of all.