Is Christ the King in our Family?

The Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Daniel 7:13 - 14

As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Revelation 1:5 - 8

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, "the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."

John 18:33B - 37

Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

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.

Posted: November 25, 2018

Ben Cheng

 


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