The Feast of Christ the King is a footnote, an inauspcicious closing to the liturgical year. The wonder of its voice is a whisper of the world past, of the time monarchy actually reigned. Monarchies rested in the realm of the ideal where the possibility that a leader could be born to practice goodness, live to become wise and merciful, be willing to sacifice for the benefit of others. Today, that message makes sense of the life of Jesus and our lives as well.
The King celebrated today is the one who enchants and enthralls, who tenderly relates to each subject with consciousness of individual paths and the collective whole. The relationship is two-way, based on the perception that each matters deeply to the other, and that trust has a fundamental role in being. There is an intimacy that becomes formative, that shapes purpose and identity. There is a sense that at every step, there is learning going on, people becoming better than they were before. That King who inspires and reimagines reality, that King is named and celebrated today.
There is a whole other dimension to this: this King rests on a throne that is both simple and humble, that intersects vertically and horizontally; it is a humble representation of hope. And there is the truth that each person is called to. That intersection itself brings each of us closer, it is a locus point that reminds us of the connection to one another. This is a King who walked the very ground and being we share, one who was attuned to the rhythms of human existence with both its vagaries and wonders. This is the King celebrated today.
And so the year closes with a tenderness and a promise of relationship that goes on and on, both because of and in spite of the humanity shared and honored. It is representative of lives that change and hope that is endless and reality that shifts. It is a reminder to come into the quiet, to dare to walk with memories and to find the deeper messages in what is actually happening in the routines and vicissitudes of everyday.
There is fealty involved, the concept of real faithfulness. Medieval though it might be, there is a nobility in daring to keep discovering who we are. The relationship between subject and King is something to be lived out in the simplicity of every day. It is not detached from the realities that we experience: work, family, frustration, learning, tragedies and triumphs. It is a relationship that undergirds all of that; in its richest form, it is challenging. For the King to be known, for the Kingdom to be celebrated, each of us must become better than what we are, live better than where we have been, and discover over and again all that we are and all that we can be.
This is a cleebration for a King who calls out even today. It is not about triumphalism or merely vanquishing evil: it is about embracing a King who dares embrace us, such as we are, with every breath in every moment. No apologies. No mistakes. Instead, a journey together toward a kingdom where peace and mercy are alive in hearts and spirits. For His is a Kingdom made visible in and through us.