The call of the King

| Deacon Timothy Lange | November 22, 2013 | 0 Comments
CNS photo

CNS photo

A popular Easter hymn proclaims: “The strife is over, the battle done, now is the victor’s triumph won. O let the song of praise be sung, alleluia!”

When we hear this lyric, we might be tempted to think that the author was delusional: “Doesn’t he see all the sin and evil in the world? Doesn’t he see what is in his own heart? How can the battle be done?”

On this the last Sunday of the liturgical year, we proclaim Christ as King of the Universe. We proclaim that the battle is done, that Christ through his Passover has triumphed over the devil by destroying the power of sin and death and opening heaven again to mankind, and that Jesus is worthy of praise. Today we also proclaim that Christ the King “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”

Yet while we celebrate “already” Christ’s victory in time and anticipate his triumph at the end of time, we recognize the “not yet” — that Christ has yet to reign in our time, in our hearts. The battle for individual souls rages on. This is the point in today’s first reading: God had already picked David (through Samuel) to be Israel’s king, and David had already won several battles. But God also wanted him to be chosen by all the 12 tribes of Israel — he wanted them to choose David as their king, and so all the elders of Israel “anointed David king of Israel.”

As David foreshadows Jesus, the first challenge from today’s readings is this: Where in my life is Christ not yet king? Is it my speech, that I haven’t given Christ control of my tongue? Is it in my hands or my knees, that I haven’t given Christ full kingship over my actions? What about my wallet, my time, my shopping preferences, the way I use technology? Or is it my mind and heart, where I realize that I exclude God from certain decisions, preferring my own plans and, perhaps, sinful habits?

This can be overwhelming if we forget today’s Gospel, if we forget that Jesus is a patient, forgiving King. To the “good thief” who asks merely that he be “remembered,” Christ in his beneficent, magnificent mercy promises abundantly more: “You will be with me in Paradise.” The thief opened his heart a little, and Christ gave him more than he could imagine.

The second challenge today is to actively invite Christ to be king of these strongholds in our lives where he does not yet rule. This is a lifelong process, a spiral staircase that descends ever deeper in our minds and hearts. If we don’t make the active choice daily to invite Jesus Christ to be our King, we end up with other things or people as our king, just like those who sneer at Jesus in the Gospel. So we pray, “Come Lord Jesus, be king of my heart. You lead me, and remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Deacon Lange is in formation for the priesthood at St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Duluth. His teaching parishes are St. Thomas the Apostle in Corcoran and Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto.


Sunday, Nov. 24
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
King of the Universe

  • 2 Samuel 5:1-3
  • Colossians 1:12-20
  • Luke 23:35-43


Where in my life is Christ not yet king? What will I do this week to invite Christ to be king of those places in my life where he does not yet rule?


Tags: , , , ,

Category: Sunday Scriptures