The Solemnity Of the Christ the King Year B by Fr. Atta Mensah 

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The Solemnity Of the Christ the King Year B by Fr. Atta Mensah


1st Reading: Dan 7:13-14

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 93:1,1-2,5

2nd Reading: Rev 1:5-8

Gospel: John 18:33b-37


Theme: The Liberating Power of Christ’s Kingship




Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King and this celebration brings the liturgical year to end. Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in his encyclical Quas primas of 1925, in response to growing secularism and nationalism, and in the context of the unresolved Roman Question. Originally, it was celebrated on the last Sunday in October, but in the revised liturgical calendar promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 it was moved to the last Sunday of Ordinary Time (immediately preceding Advent), where its theme of Christ’s dominion made it a fitting end to the liturgical year.


Interpretation of the text


Our first reading from the book of Daniel shines a spotlight first on the kingship of God who is portrayed in Daniel’s vision as an “Ancient One”, and Second on the eternal kingship that is given to the one like human being. Kingship and sovereignty are thus central themes in this passage. Heavenly kingship and heavenly kingdom are not divorced from earthly kingship. The book of Daniel thematizes the relationship between earthly and heavenly rule, emphasizing that the sovereign authority of earthly kings depends upon the will of God ( e.g., Daniel 2:21, 5:32). In both Mark’s and Matthew’s gospels ( Mk 14:62 & Matt 24:30), Jesus quotes our first reading’s passage in reference to His kingship. Our second reading from the book of Revelation also corroborates this pericope in reference to the coming of the Messiah-king.


In our Gospel reading Jesus is brought before Pilate. The charge of Kingship becomes the central question of Jesus’ trial before Pilate. Jesus never answers Pilate’s question, ” Are you the king of the Jews?” ( John 18:33), in a straightforward way. The author of the Gospel of John uses the trial and the crucifixion to display Jesus’ kingship and the faithlessness of those who reject him. As the crucifixion makes clear, Jesus’kingship is “not of this world” ( John 18:36). Worldly Kings take power from others by winning battles or at least through successful diplomacy. Jesus neither fights nor allows his followers to do so. He doesn’t mount a vigorous defense. Instead, Jesus offers an alternative to earthly kingship. “I have been born and come into the world for this: to witness to the truth” ( John 18:38).


What is Truth?

Truth is defined by Merriam Webster as the actuality of things or events, fact, or spiritual reality. Other definitions of truth have to do with sincerity in action or character, while others literally refer to God. The opposite of truth, then, is lies, falsity, fiction, and falsehood. No matter how it is viewed, truth bears the fruit of trust, and many of us spend our entire lives looking for it. In John 8:32 Jesus talks about the liberating power of truth when he says: ” And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. And again in John 17:17 He prays to God the Father to sanctify his disciples in truth. Jesus Christ has thus come to inaugurate a Kingdom which is liberating; one that liberates those who have accepted it from the bondage of sin, evil and death.



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