Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of Christ the King

A Royal Truth

Daniel 7:13-14
Psalm 93:1-2,5
Revelation 1:5-8
John 18:33-37

 by Dr. Scott Hahn

What’s the truth Jesus comes to bear witness to in this last Gospel of the Church’s year?
It’s the truth that in Jesus, God keeps the promise He made to David – of an everlasting kingdom, of an heir who would be His Son, “the first born, highest of the kings of the earth” (see 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 89:27-38).

Today’s Second Reading, taken from the Book of Revelation, quotes these promises and celebrates Jesus as “the faithful witness.” The reading hearkens back to Isaiah’s prophecy that the Messiah would “witness to the peoples” that God is renewing His “everlasting covenant” with David (see Isaiah 55:3-5).

But as Jesus tells Pilate, there’s far more going on here than the restoration of a temporal monarchy. In the Revelation reading, Jesus calls Himself “the Alpha and the Omega,” the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. He’s applying to Himself a description that God uses to describe Himself in the Old Testament – the first and the last, the One Who calls forth all generations (see Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12).

“He has made the world,” today’s Psalm cries, and His dominion is over all creation (see also John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17). In the vision of Daniel we hear in today’s First Reading, He comes on “the clouds of heaven” – another sign of His divinity – to be given “glory and kingship” forever over all nations and peoples.

Christ is King and His Kingdom, while not of this world, exists in this world in the Church. We are a royal people. We know we have been loved by Him and freed by His blood and transformed into “a Kingdom, priests for His God and Father” (see also Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9).

As a priestly people, we share in His sacrifice and in His witness to God’s everlasting covenant. We belong to His truth and listen to His voice, waiting for Him to come again amid the clouds.

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15 Responses to Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of Christ the King

  1. toadspittle says:

    Christ the Surbiton hippy again.
    Tastefully back-lit among the dry ice.
    Why is the heavenly horn player on the right blowing down while all the others are blowing up?
    What can it all mean?
    Is it possibly a scene from a “Depeche Mode” video?


  2. Pastorious says:

    A topical and carefully selected illustration.

    Toad frets about what it all means. Well, the musician is pointing the horn down to expel saliva and moisture, a common technique tho’ not widely discussed on grounds of taste.

    The dry ice effect is as Toad suspects, actually the painter’s skilled way of reproducing the ‘clouds of heaven’ from the vision of Daniel. The painting is unsigned, perhaps in modesty, and may have been inspired by that very pop video, in an effort to attract the young. My sole concern is that some of the horn players appear a bit LBGH.

    I wonder if Scott Hahn is any relation to the world famous Buddhist monk and scholar Thich Nhat Hahn?


  3. johnkonnor72 says:

    …The stylized romantic representation of heaven…mmm…a depeche mode video. Indeed sorry i brought that up in the first place…when scripture says coming on a cloud in référence to the last day i believe it is referring to the cloud of unknowing which separates us from our God..not a material however a lack of knowledge of our God since Christ is perfect mediator as well as Logos he will bridge the cloud of unknowing…when the doors of perception are cleansed then things will appear as they truly are…. 🙂


  4. Pastorious says:

    Yes, johnboy, and you know what Huxley was on about when he used the phrase ‘The Doors of Perception’.

    As an old ’68er, have you taken his advice on how to see things “as they truly are”?

    I think the clouds in the article’s reference are much more benign than ‘the last day’ you mention. 🙂


  5. Brother Burrito says:

    I think of “coming on a cloud” as being descriptive of your last moments of down-to-the-bone consciousness.

    No better place to meet the Saviour of the World, in my humble opinion.


  6. Brother Burrito says:

    Sorry, we posted coincidentally. please see my last post wot says something similar.


  7. Brother Burrito says:

    We call them GILBERTs around here.

    The ‘I’ stands for “Indeterminates”.

    The ‘ER’ stands for “Extreme Retromancers”, whatever they are.


  8. Pastorious says:

    We discussed the O’Sullivan part t’other day. 🙂


  9. johnkonnor72 says:

    ……Ok great i think we can agree that the cloud is not a physical vapour but a naked spiritual plain of agnosia…things truly as they are i believe as some realists do exist as universal forms a suppositum of the divine knowledge…so when we receive the uncreated infused grace of beatitude we will then share God’s’eye and see things truly as they are…


  10. Pastorious says:

    Thank you johnboy. I’d rather not use a dictionary, so if you wish, please tell me what you mean by “agnosia”. I am a simple soul, and can’t help a youthful association with ‘Ambrosia’ – creamed rice in a tin and much loved, at least till I discovered continental food. Then of course I realised I’d been fooled. Again.

    There is also ‘agnostic’ and here may lie a clue.

    Or Auntie Agnes of course. Goes without saying.

    T of course reasonably opined that the cloud was dry ice, and so IS a physical vapour. I suggested that it was as given in Daniel’s visions, but this was rejected in a rather terse post about my ‘last moments’. It is not only the Mayan Calendar which weighs heavily on awareness.

    Sez Pastoriasis.


  11. johnkonnor72 says:

    …You are far too modest pastorious…u are far from a simpleton…
    (1) Unknowing, or agnosia, is not ignorance or nescience as ordinarily understood, but rather the realization that no finite knowledge can fully know the Infinite One, and that therefore it is only truly to be approached by agnosia, or by that which is beyond and above knowledge-mystical theology of pseudo dionysus the aeropigate …read more if anyone be so inclined… 🙂


  12. Pastorious says:

    Thank you johnboy but I am as advertised. Que sais-je? Now you hit me with “nescience” “aeropigate” etc. 🙂

    “Unknowing” eh? It’s like that phrase ‘Clouds of Unknowing’, or “O Clouds Unfold” or “I’ve looked at life from both sides now”. I have had a few unknowing moments in my time, sometimes for extended periods because of dionysian activities – and in the heady days of my yoof……oh. 🙂

    Sez Pastis


  13. johnkonnor72 says:

    …Its all fine and good if we dont know…because basically what many mystics say is that to know God we find him in forgetting …which puts me at an advantage from the get-go…since i have beed known to drink the liquor of indolence …as well…in this respect maybe its true what gramps said..what ya dont know cant hurt ya… 😉


  14. Pastorious says:

    johnboy; re: your post of 17.52. You offer me more I don’t understand. What is “a suppositum of divine knowledge”?


  15. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….Rationalis naturae — Person is predicated only of intellectual beings. The generic word which includes all individual existing substances is suppositum. Thus person is a subdivision of suppositum which is applied equally to rational and irrational, living and non-living individuals. A person is therefore sometimes defined as suppositum naturae rationalis… God would be suppositum naturae divinis..i am not versed in latin..this is the best i can offer…. 🙂


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