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CHRIST THE KING OF A KINGDOM OF EVERLASTING PEACE ON EARTH
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Sunday, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, Last Sunday of the Year , November 22, 2015
Dan. 7:13-14, Ps. 92, Rev. 1:5-8, John 18:33-37


Scripture quotations are from the RSV unless otherwise noted.

 

"Behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of man ... And 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. 7:13-14).


This prophecy will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns on the clouds of heaven with all his saints in great light. Then he will be fully manifest as king of the universe, and all peoples will acknowledge him as such, and his kingdom will last forever. "His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:14).


Before this prophecy, Daniel had also prophesied that one day a new kingdom would appear on earth that would finally put an end to all other kingdoms and would itself fill the whole earth and last forever. We are awaiting the final fulfillment of this prophecy now with the second coming of Jesus Christ as king of the universe. This is the prophecy about a stone not cut by human hands that struck the feet of the great statue of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream and caused it to fall and break into pieces and blow away with the wind. The statue represented the various kingdoms that would succeed his kingdom. Then the stone itself would fill the whole earth and become a kingdom that would last forever.


Here is the prophecy: "A stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces; then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (Dan. 2:34-35).


Then Daniel gave the king the interpretation of this prophecy: "In the days of those kings 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 forever" (Dan. 2:44).


This prophecy will be fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus Christ as king of the universe, as the glorious Son of man of Daniel's prophecy (Dan. 7:13-14). To him will be given dominion and glory and kingship. All peoples and nations shall 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).


This is the kingdom that we are now awaiting. "Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him" (Rev. 1:7). Jesus himself said as much at his trial: "I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matt. 26:64). Earlier he had said, "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations" (Matt. 25:31-32). Then he will say to those who are saved, "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34).


It will be a kingdom of universal peace over the whole earth, a peace that is created by God and that comes from him will fill the hearts of all. About this king and this peace, Isaiah prophesied, "The government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore" (Isa. 9:6-7).


This will not just be a natural human peace, but a peace produced in us by the Spirit of God. It will be the kind of peace that God himself has. It will be a peace mixed with deep spiritual joy, the kind of peace that Christ gives now to those who believe in him. It is a peace far deeper than anything the world can give us.


This is the peace that Jesus was talking about when he said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:27). This is the peace that St. Paul spoke of, "The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7).


Jesus Christ gives us this peace. We cannot produce it ourselves, nor can the world or other people produce it and give it to us. He is our peace, he himself, as Micah prophesied, "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 will be everywhere that we go. He will be great, and his peace will go with us, even to the ends of the earth. And with the majesty of God's name he will feed us and give us pasture. This is the peace of his kingdom, for he is our king; and this is the peace that he gives us even now.


The peace of this kingdom, which begins now for those who believe in Christ, will last forever, for his kingdom will have no end, as the angel told Mary, "He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:33). So it will be, for "in his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails. He shall rule from sea to sea, from the Great River to earth's bounds" (Ps. 71 Grail). A universal kingdom of peace that will fill the whole earth and last forever is what we now await in the coming in glory of Jesus Christ as king of the universe.


The psalmist's prophecy that King David would have an everlasting dynasty is fulfilled in Jesus Christ the king of the universe, the promised Son of David: "I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of the heavens ... His line shall endure for ever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established for ever; it shall stand firm while the skies endure" (Ps. 88:29, 36-37).


We await the fulfillment of an everlasting kingdom of peace that will fill the whole earth. But, in fact, it has already begun for those who believe in Christ and accept him as their Savior. 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).

 

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