Meditating this morning on the feast of Christ the King, one question ran through my mind: “What kind of king is Jesus?”
The kings of this world rule by power, domination, and violence, with soldiers and weapons of war. They want their enemies to suffer – death or defeat. They thrive on vengeance. They are arrogant. They want their followers to serve them, to acquiesce to today idea or demand – to whatever Twitter they send out. They are arrogant and think they know it all and are the best in everything. Their thrones are of precious woods or of gold. Some even have gold toilets.
Our king, Jesus, rules from the wood of the cross. He suffers the violence of the powerful and is the brunt of violence and of mocking. But he is at the side of those who are cast aside, the marginalized, the wretched of the earth – and suffers with them. He pardons his enemies and even those who put him to death, putting an end to violence. He serves others, washing their feet. He hears the cry of the poor and even of the good thief. He has no weapons but love, tenderness, mercy, and forgiveness. He is humble and puts himself with those at the bottom of society.
As Saint Paul wrote to the Colossians (1: 13-14), “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Do we really want king Jesus – or do we want the kings of this world?