Jesus Christ our King, King of our Minds and King of our Actions

Homily for the Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Year B - Solemnity of Christ the King

by Fr. Tommy Lane

Who or what comes first in your life? Our celebration of Jesus Christ as King today means that we place Jesus first in our lives at all times. On this last Sunday of this liturgical year before Advent begins next Sunday we celebrate publicly that Jesus is first in our lives. We could say today is really a celebration of the first commandment, “I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.” In the Gospel (John 18:33-37) Jesus shows us one way to put him first. He says, “…all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” (John 18:37) So putting Jesus first means listening to his voice of truth and then living by his truth. In everything we think and do and say let us listen to the voice of Jesus. We begin making Jesus King of our lives by firstly making Jesus King of our minds and then King of our actions.

We make Jesus King of our minds by blocking out thoughts or images from our minds that are not of Jesus and then filling our minds with what would please Jesus. Much of what is on radio and TV and the internet is not of Jesus. Making Jesus King of your mind means choosing wisely what you allow into your mind from radio, TV, and the internet because sometimes unfortunately it is possible to hear the voice of Satan on radio, TV or internet. Listen to the voice of Jesus by turning off the voice of Satan on the TV and spending time in silence or enjoying other people’s company without the distraction of TV. Paul wrote in 2 Cor 10:5, “we demolish every presumptuous notion against the knowledge of God, and we bring every thought into captivity or obedience to Christ.” That describes very well what it means to make Jesus King of our minds, “we demolish every presumptuous notion against the knowledge of God, and we bring every thought into captivity or obedience to Christ.” We bring every thought that is not Christian into captivity and obedience to Christ by listening to his voice of truth. Instead of filling your mind with the voice of Satan on TV, radio, or internet, fill your mind with the voice of Jesus.

When we fill our minds with the voice of Jesus instead of the voice of Satan it will have an effect in our lives. You will be a much happier person. When people visit your home they will see whose voice is influencing you. Sacred pictures on the walls of our homes remind us to listen to the voice of Jesus. Holy Water fonts by our doors as we go out remind us to listen to the voice of Jesus. Listen to the voice of Jesus by praying together as a family every evening. Above all we listen to the voice of Jesus by celebrating the Sunday Eucharist together here. In all these ways that we listen to the voice of Jesus we make him King of our lives.

When we make Jesus King of our minds it is much easier to also make Jesus King of our actions. We make Jesus King of our actions when we have to make a decision and we choose to do what would be pleasing to Jesus. Sometimes when we are making a decision we have different options and making Jesus our King means choosing to do what most pleases Jesus. Sometimes we have these different options because there is a difference between the laws of the land and the laws of God. Even if the State legalizes something it does not mean that it is in accordance with the will of God. A State may be forced to make something immoral legal because of pressure from certain groups or court rulings. Even when the State gives us the freedom to do something we still need to ask ourselves, “Is this the right thing to do?” When laws concerning public morality are introduced we need to ask, “Did the lawmakers listen to the voice of Jesus or to some other voice?” Jesus says, “…all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” Laws permitting abortion, euthanasia, divorce, IVF, embryonic stem cell research, same-sex marriages, artificial contraception and the morning after pill are laws not listening to the voice of Jesus. Embryonic stem cell research is often called destructive stem cell research because taking the stem cells from the embryo kills the embryo. Concerning IVF the Irish bishops wrote in 2000,

“IVF, as normally practiced, is inconsistent with respect for the life and bodily integrity of the embryo. In many cases it is inconsistent with respect for the family and the identity of the origin of the child.”
(Assisted Human Reproduction: Facts and Ethical Issues page 30)

Many people are not aware that when a test-tube baby is produced about a dozen spare embryos are also produced and stored indefinitely. Just because a State says we can do something does not mean that it is right or moral for us to do it. Jesus says, “…all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” We make Jesus King of our lives by choosing to do what pleases Jesus when we have different options presented to us. Today we celebrate Jesus as King to show that in all that we think, do, and say, we want to listen to the voice of Jesus.

On certain occasions we also make Jesus King of our actions by the way we vote. If we had to vote on an issue of public morality and your favorite political party said to vote one way and the teaching of the Church said faith in Christ shows that we vote in a different way, how would you vote? Would you vote according to your favorite political party or according to the teaching of the Church? Jesus says, “…all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” Today we celebrate Jesus as King to show that in all that we think, do, and say, we want to listen to the voice of Jesus. We make Jesus King of our actions when we have to make a decision and we choose to do what would be pleasing to Jesus. If Jesus really comes first in your life he comes first in every part of your life, and comes first in the way you vote on issues of morality.

Our celebration today is a joyful celebration because Jesus is not like kings of earthly kingdoms who may be remote from their people. Jesus is close to us, he walks by our side, he lifts us up when we need help, he gave his life for us. Our celebration of Jesus Christ as King today means that we place Jesus first in our lives at all times. We put Jesus first in our lives and make him King of our lives, firstly in our minds and then in our actions. We make Jesus King of our minds by blocking out voices that are contrary to Jesus and filling our minds with what would please Jesus. When we make Jesus King of our minds it is much easier to make Jesus King of our actions. We make Jesus King of our actions when we have decisions to make and we choose the option that would most please Jesus.

I conclude with an excerpt from a beautiful hymn in Paul’s letter to the Philippians 2:9-11,

“God has highly exalted him [Jesus],
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Copyright © Fr. Tommy Lane 2013

This homily was delivered when I was engaged in parish ministry in Ireland before joining the faculty of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

More related material for the Thirty-Fourth Sunday Year B - Solemnity of Christ the King

Good Citizens of Our Country but God’s Servants First - Jesus is Our King

Related Homilies: Christ - a Powerless King 

Commentary: Jesus as King in Mark