Nine Days to Christ the King: Day 9

Meditation Day 9: Christ, Our Triumphant King

[He] rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end (Nicene Creed).

REFLECTION

Christ’s kingdom may not at all resemble those of this world, but precisely through the paradoxical way of humility and selfless love, Our King has triumphed. His victory contradicts all our human understandings of what it takes to achieve success, and for this very reason, it is all the more majestic in its triumph. His victory is unequaled by any other victory. His power, his glory, and his kingly majesty are without end.

Through his Death and Resurrection, Jesus has conquered death. With it, he has conquered every pain, every suffering, every despair. And he has won this victory for all of us. Death no longer holds power over us (cf. Romans 6:9). There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38), and this love has won the victory over all things.

What this means for us is that there is nothing, absolutely nothing in our lives, that Jesus’s love cannot conquer. It does not matter if we are in the midst of the most hopeless situation imaginable. Jesus’s love is greater, and it will triumph. It may not triumph in the way that we imagine, but it will triumph. Nothing was more hopeless than the Lord of life put to death on a cross, and yet even then he won the victory. There is nothing more glorious than the victory that he has brought about–and that he continues to bring about–in each and every one of our lives.

As baptized Christians, we already share in his victory. We have shared in his death, and so too we will share in his life. The battle is already won. 

When we pray “Thy Kingdom Come,” we are praying for the full completion of what is already a reality. Our prayer is not only the expression of a desire for what is to come, but an act of confident faith in what already is. Jesus’s kingdom is already among us. He reigns in every mother who selflessly loves her children. He reigns in every father who makes countless sacrifices for the well-being of his family. He reigns in every business owner who resists the allure of corruption and chooses to act according to his conscience, even at the risk of financial loss. He reigns in every Christian who raises his heart in trusting prayer. He reigns in the action of grace in each one of our hearts.

On the threshold of the solemnity of Christ the King, let us raise our hearts in a confident petition that Christ’s kingdom might come. Let us pray that his kingdom might come in our hearts as we strive to embrace his criteria of humility and selfless gift of self. Let us pray that it come in our families as we reject the logic of egotism and embrace the logic of self-forgetful love. Let us pray that it come in our Church as each one of us as her members pursue holiness and not selfish gain. Let us pray that it come in our society as each of us from our corner of the world seeks to contribute to a civilization of truth, justice, peace, and love. As we do so, may our prayer be imbued by the powerful hope that Our King has already won his victory and that it is ultimately his grace that will accomplish the miracles needed by our world and by each one of us.

The world we live in is broken, and many times Christ’s victory can seem an illusion. Ultimately, our prayer of “Thy Kingdom Come” expresses the longing of the Church to be definitively united to Christ in the heavenly kingdom. It is a longing for Christ’s victory to be made perfect as every tear is wiped away and all things are made new (Revelation 21:4-5). As we await this moment, we do so in the confidence that our God has triumphed. Once again, we are reminded, his kingdom is not of this world. We were made for heaven.

  • What seemingly hopeless situations in my life, in the lives of my loved ones, or in the world at large am I being invited to entrust into God’s hands, with confidence in his ultimate victory?
  • As a citizen of Christ’s kingdom, how do I feel called to contribute to extending his kingdom in my family, my Church, my country, or my local community?
  • Are the criteria I use to measure success those of Christ or those of the world? Do I embrace his way of humility, meekness, and selflessness as the path to victory? In my spiritual life or apostolate, do I rely too much on measurable standards to evaluate my progress, forgetting that the action of grace is often silent and impossible to quantify?

PRAYER

Jesus, my triumphant king, your victory gives hope to a broken world.  Help me to believe that you have triumphed, not only over the grave, but over the nitty gritty details of sin and suffering in my life.  Come and shed your light over the darkness in my life and in the world.  Teach me to embrace your criteria of success so that I might be a reflection of your light in the world. 

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart more like yours.

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The Kingdom without End:
A Retreat Guide on Christ the King

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