There is always a danger in placing too much trust in people who bear titles of honour. Our hopes and trust can easily be dashed. Today’s first reading is about Saul’s successor, King David. He was young and handsome and daring. He captured
as the royal city. He who once shepherded sheep now shepherded, that is, protected, the people of Jerusalem . David was not a king with a stiff upper lip. He was wild and crazy enough to strip down to his boxers and dance before the Ark of the Covenant. The people loved him. David was a marvelous king who restored God’s people. But he had feet of clay like the rest of us. He was vain, deceitful, crooked and lustful. King David drank too much and had affairs with married women. If he lived today he would rival the antics of the British royal family (God forgive me Your Majesty the Queen for such a comment!) and, no doubt, appear on the cover of People magazine. Israel
One thousand years later, when Jesus, the one who called himself the Good Shepherd, rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, they greeted him as royalty by waving palms and crying out hosannas and calling him the Son of David because like David, Jesus was a shepherd king until the end. But unlike David, this King was without sin and restored all of God’s people, not the few, but the many, not one nation but every nation with the gift of salvation.
This feast of Christ the King, which closes the Church’s liturgical year, was instituted only eighty five years ago by Pope Pius XI on December 11th, 1925. Pope Pius was having to deal with a global leadership problem that needed a Gospel solution. It was the time of the rise of dictators. The world had seen Lenin take over
and was watching Stalin soar to power. Hitler’s popularity was growing in Russia Germany and Mussolini had already ruled for three years. The sovereignty of Christ was being challenged and replaced by the rise of secularism and communism. People were being forced, coerced, and manipulated to place their trust in the sovereignty of certain individuals rather than that of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who is the image of the invisible God, our Savior Jesus Christ. Italy
It is amazing how quickly we can be swayed by strong, charismatic, personalities with feet of clay and hearts of stone, in rejecting the values of the true and everlasting kingdom. How fickle we are, persuaded by the last argument rather than remaining steadfast in the truth and values of the
. Kingdom of God
Jesus was very direct in his conversation with Pilate when he said that his kingdom was not of this world. It was out of this world, it turns the values of this world upside down and inside out. Jesus had no standing army but he did have followers. He wore no crown of gold, but one of thorns. He did not use his authority to take life but to give it. He did not set boundaries or entertain only the nobility; he welcomed prostitutes, tax collectors, foreigners and thieves.