daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Sunday, Solemnity of Christ the King, Last Sunday of the Year, November 24, 2013
2 Sam. 5:1-3, Ps. 121, Col. 1:12-20, Luke 23:35-43

We give "thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:12-14).

Today we celebrate Jesus Christ King of the Universe, who freed us by his death from the darkness of sin and guilt and transferred us to his kingdom of light so that we might share in the inheritance of the saints. It pleased the Father "through him to reconcile to himself all things ... making peace by the blood of his cross" (Col. 1:20). It is the blood of his great sacrifice on the cross that made just reparation for all our sins, thereby freeing us from the power of darkness. This sacrifice satisfied divine justice for us on account of our sins, thereby propitiating God and placating his wrath against us. In this way God justified us and transferred us into his kingdom of light with all his saints.

All those who are in heaven now praise the Lamb who was slain and with his blood has redeemed us for God so that we might reign with him in his kingdom of light. They sing: "You are worthy ... for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:9-10 NKJV). Because the Lamb was slain to redeem us, he is given royal honors today. He is "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Therefore all who are in heaven say with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing" (Rev. 5:12). He is the one whom we honor today as our king, Jesus Christ king of the universe. He is "the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Rev. 1:5-6).

He himself is our peace. "And this One shall be peace," prophesied Micah (Mic. 5:5 NKJV), saying, "And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth; And this One shall be peace" (Mic. 5:4-5 NKJV). He pastures us now and is himself our peace, "making peace by the blood of his cross" (Col. 1:20). He has indeed become great unto the ends of the earth. He has done this by his Paschal Mystery, for he "was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).

We now live in this kingdom of peace, this heavenly peace on earth, in Jesus Christ, the king of this kingdom of peace, the king of the universe. And we hope for the fullness of his kingdom at his second coming. "Then the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the Lord), not day and night, for at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem ... And the Lord will become king over all the earth" (Zech. 14:5-9). We are now awaiting the fullness of this kingdom of light over all the earth. And Christ will be its king. It will be a kingdom of peace on earth without end and without borders, and it shall cover the entire earth. "Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass ... and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth" (Zech. 9:9-10).

We now live in the beginnings of this kingdom of peace in Christ. He is the Prince of Peace. "And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever" (Isa. 9:6-7 KJV).

This is the kingdom of peace that Jesus Christ has brought to the earth, and we live in it now through faith. God gave him the throne of David his father so that he might reign forever in his kingdom of peace over all the earth. This is the kingdom that he has given to us. "And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33).

We now live in this kingdom of heavenly peace through our faith in Jesus Christ, who removes our sins and guilt by his death, and fills us with the splendor of his own righteousness by his resurrection (Rom. 4:25). We await its fullness when Christ will come again on the clouds of heaven with all his saints. And on that day there will be a great light. "In his days justice will flourish and peace till the moon fails. He shall rule from sea to sea, from the Great River to earth's bounds ... Before him all kings shall fall prostrate, all nations shall serve him" (Ps. 71:7-8, 11 Grail).

He shall redeem the poor and give them new life through the blood of his cross (Col. 1:20). "He shall save the poor when they cry and the needy who are helpless. He will have pity on the weak and save the lives of the poor" (Ps. 71:12-13 Grail). The whole world will be blessed by him. "His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed" (Ps. 71:17 NKJV).

Ultimately only this kingdom will remain. All other kingdoms will be destroyed. Then truly it will be a kingdom forever over all the earth. On that day "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever" (Dan. 2:44). Then Christ will truly be a universal king over all the earth, the king of the universe, for "to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:14).

He shall be the greatest king that ever was, "the highest of the kings of the earth" (Ps. 88:27).


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