The Solemnity of Christ the King

November 20, 2022 at St. Peter & St. William Parishes in Naples, FL

2 Samuel 5, 1-3 + Psalm 122 + Colossians 1, 12-20 + Luke 23, 35-43

Saint William Church Saturday Vigil 2:45pm Naples, FL

It is hard for us Americans to really wrap our minds and imaginations around this idea of Christ as King. Those who dared to dream this country into existence and shape our governance with a constitution were certainly not monarchists. Far from it. The consequence of their dream and hostility toward a monarchy gives us some trouble with this idea of Christ as King. I guess we could look to Pilate when it comes to formalizing this image of Christ, but for the people of Israel, the memory of King David and their whole collective memory that things were better when David was King had already set the stage for Pilate’s proclamation.

Since we inaugurate our leaders after election, we don’t quite get what makes a king or for that matter a queen since it’s not popular election that provides that title and its awesome responsibility. On the 6th of May, a man from the house of Windsor will be “crowned” as King Charles III. Many who are curious or interested in those things will watch that spectacle, but I suspect few will really understand it. For one thing, the ritual is mis-named when called “Coronation.” It is not the placing of the crown on someone’s head that makes them a royal. There are other rituals just as important such as handing the new king an orb and a staff. However, what really matters is not those external things, but a very intimate and holy gesture, the anointing when consecrated oil is poured onto the head of the one who is becoming the king, the ruler, the servant and protector of the people.

We must remember that the word Christos comes from the word Chrism. In other words, it is the anointing that matters. It is the anointing that changes a prince into a King. It is the anointing that changes a non-believer into a Christian which of course means that they now are a member of the anointed ones, and in the Jewish/Christian tradition, who are anointed? Priests, Prophets, and Kings. 

Celebrating the Feast of Christ as King challenges us to affirm more than the rule of Jesus Christ over this world and our lives. It is powerful reminder that because of his fulfillment of the Father’s Will we, by our own anointing at Baptism are becoming day by day more and more a priestly people, a kingly people, a prophetic people, and a holy people.

As sons and daughters of God we are royalty in every way. That means we must act like it living with royal dignity, credibility, and never forgetting that we are here to serve and protect the most vulnerable, helpless, and poor of God’s children who either have never heard of the Kingdom for which we live or have never been treated with the dignity that comes with being children of God. Our church suffers from many ills in these days that come about from members of the Body of Christ acting like anything but anointed royalty. 

With Baptism comes responsibility. With the name Christian comes accountability. We are called and we are chosen. Too many believe that the universe is just fine without Jesus Christ. This Feast celebrated every year could hardly convince them. It will take all of us together – anointed and on fire for our King to make a difference. This is the day and this is the hour for that to begin.

Father Tom Boyer