" ITREALMS: Cross is the throne says Fr. Dzungwe - ITREALMS

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Cross is the throne says Fr. Dzungwe - ITREALMS

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Every liturgical year ends with Solemnity of 'Jesu Christi Regis Universorum' Christ the King of the Universe. In which the church celebrates, Christ as King of the universe. It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as a feast but later transformed to a Solemnity by Pope Paul VI. For pastoral reasons the Nigeria church combines it with the solemn procession of Corpus Christi.
To understand better the basis of this celebration, one would ask questions such as:

Who made Christ king?
Like David, Christ did not campaign for himself, he did not impose himself on the people, and he did not waste resources/money to be elected as king or ruler, neither did he say it was his turn. The people genuinely chose and acclaim David as their king, just as we acclaim Christ as our King today in fulfilment to Isaiah 11:1: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse”. Christ is from the royal family of Jesse and his kingship is not of military might but of mercy, love and peace.

Where is the kingdom?
Jesus himself provided the answer when he told Pilate, My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). Christ's kingdom is not a territory or a geographical entity. It does not operate with the same laws as the kingdoms of this world. Rather, the supreme law in that kingdom is Love, love of God and of one's neighbour as oneself. It is a kingdom where "Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all" (Mark 10:43-44).
Generally, people give up their lives for their king, but Christ as King gave up his life on the cross for His people.

Where is the throne?
As king, his throne is the cross, and by his suffering and death on the cross, he established his Kingdom. Jesus was not proclaimed king, seated on a throne, but while he was nailed to a cross. The cross becomes the "throne". While on the throne (cross) a criminal cried to Him; "Jesus, remember me in your kingdom power." And ofcourse, from that same throne (cross), Jesus passed His judgement, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:42-43). Paradise is Jesus' kingdom.

Some lessons to be drown from this celebration are:
A king who save
While soldiers mocked him saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself” (Lk 23:36), Christ was focused on His kingly project - to save. It was precisely because He did not save Himself that He can save others. The best way to save oneself is to save the world. It could be rightly said that love kept Jesus on the cross, not nails.

A king who pays the price
St Paul, tells of Christ's kingship as one that “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 1:13).

The prize for our redemption was paid with his blood on the cross. The mention of Christ's (the king) name grants us entrance to the kingdom. The name and the blood becomes the ‘receipt’ of our lawful purchase as redeemed people.

Beloved, we are heirs of the kingdom of Christ.

Christ kingdom, our kingdom, is not of place, nation, tribe or culture. We are bonded by the Blood of Christ the king. Our heritage is not material, but spirit filled.

The cross is the sign. The cross is the reward. The cross is our throne. In Christ kingdom the cross is to cross us. No Christianity without a cross.

Like Christ, the king, we are kings; at home, offices, schools, societies etc. Our rule should be built on love and mercy expressed through in our everyday life.

As we process, proclaiming Christ kingship, let us invite Christ to rule in our homes, offices, and lives. Amen.

Happy Sunday.

*By Rev. Fr. Dzungwe Simon Peter Sc.

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