Is Christ the King in our Family?

by Ben Cheng
The Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Daniel 7:13 - 14

Revelation 1:5 - 8

John 18:33B - 37

The liturgical year ends with the Feast of Christ The King, which is our feast for this Sunday. "Christ The King" is named by the Church with central importance to our faith, in which Jesus is recognized as the Lord and King of the totality of our life. The Feast emphasizes that we should belong utterly to Him, and thus, we may agree with St. Paul, "and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me" (Galatians 2:20).

Christ is our everything! Indeed, if we say anything other or less than that, we are horsing around with Christianity, and not really living out the faith. If we only pay lip service to Je-sus but do not submit completely to Him, we are fooling around with Christianity, and not taking it seriously! If we only pay attention to Christ for a few minutes every Sunday, only treating Him as a frivolous symbol, and pretend He is just one religious figure among many, or just another intriguing philosopher, then we are not honoring Christ as our King. Let us recall the image from C.S. Lewis, in which many of us would receive Christ in a "hall" of our house, a nicely decorated waiting place, but not into every room where we actually live our life (Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis). If we sequester Him only in some minor corners of our families, and not declaring Him in every aspect of our family life, we are not treating Him as King.

So, what does it mean by saying Jesus is the King of our family life? I would suggest two concrete examples. First, it means that we must treat every one of our family as an end, and never simply as a mean to achieve our personal desires. Unfortunately, when we look at families around, we see a lot of tension and difficulties arise precisely because of this, namely, parents are using children and vice versa, and brothers and sisters are using each other, as means to an end. We may hear "Look, I got something I want to accomplish, and I will use a family member as a means to that." Think of parents who attempt to live their dreams and aspirations through their children; think of brothers and sisters who manipu-late each other even into adulthood. To make Christ the King in our family life means eve-ryone in our family is an end, but never simply a means. It means that they are the subject of infinite respect and dignity.

Secondly, everybody in the family are not looking towards him or herself, not even to oth-ers in the family, but are together looking to God, where everyone in the family is a little community of worship, journeying together towards God, and falling in love with God. There comes a point where couples' love attains to a height of freedom and becomes the basis of autonomy (Amoris Laetitia 320). It happens when each spouse realizes that the other is not his or her own, but has a much more important master, the One Lord. Together we are adoring the One Lord, and together we are worshiping Him. Only in this way, our family and our relationship becomes like a temple. It becomes powerful, enduring, and strong. When the Lord is our King in the family, it becomes a school of virtue, and a building block of our wider society.

Jesus Lord is our King! When this fact sinks in, our families, society, and everything in our life, will change. Please remember: If Jesus is not lord of all, He is not lord at all.