Christ is our king because he is the first-born of the dead who will lead his followers into their heavenly kingdom.


This. is the day on which we honor Christ as our King.

Recalling how he told us, “My kingdom is not of this world” we must come to an understanding of the unusual way in which he is our king. For that we search for clues in the Scriptures, looking to the readings the Church gives us for the feast of our King. In the First Reading  the people acclaim David as their king because they see him as "bone of our bone, and flesh of our fleesh."  

Our second reading calls Christ “The firstborn of the dead.” In that the Bible follows the ancient idea of kingship. There kingship belongs to the founder of a new race, or to his direct descendent. All the people who later came to live in that land honor that direct descendent, seeing him as their link which related them to each other through their ties to their founder.

Let me describe something similar that I came across in my dozen years in Korea’s farmland.  Korea’s population has an odd way of referring to themselves.  They call themselves, not the Korean People, but the Korean paiksung, which translates as the Hundred-Names. They believe that there were a hundred pioneers who three thousand years ago settled on different parts of their peninsula. They believe that people with the same family name had the same ancestor.

After all these centuries some of the people of the hundred clans are still aware of the man who is the direct descendent of its original founder, of the pioneer who landed of their shore. Once each year they like to come together at his house to deepen their mutual relationship and to honor all the ancestors in their clan. They say to him, as the leaders of the tribes said to David, “Here we are your bone and your flesh.”

We honor Christ the King because he is “The firstborn of the dead.” He is the first of our race to land on heaven’s shore. As the first reading puts it, “He has made us into a kingdom.” 

Today's Preface pictures Christ leading his followers into haven in something like a triumphant ticker tape parade. He presents to the Father his followers who compose a kingdom of peace and love.  

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