This week is the last of the Church Year. Next week a new cycle begins with Advent Sunday, but before we get there, we take a moment to reflect, one last time, on who this Jesus is, and on what following Jesus means for us. This last Sunday of the Liturgical Calendar always focuses on the Reign of Christ and seeks to remind us that Christ is a Monarch, but of a very different kind, who rules over a realm of a very different kind.

Through the Scriptures we see a growing awareness of what it means to call Christ “King”. In the early parts of the Old Testament, God’s Reign was seen as very much like human empires, but bigger and more powerful. The dominant idea in these passages is that God destroys God’s enemies, and crushes all opposition in order to create a world of justice and peace. In the prophets, the language employed to describe God’s Reign becomes “apocalyptic” (which means it is revelatory – revealing deep truths). This language is not to be taken literally, but employs metaphor, mystery, image and poetry to convey truths that are beyond human understanding. This is the same language that is used in the last book of the New Testament – Revelation. At first glance this language also seems to be about power through dominance and violence, but when we place it alongside the teachings of Jesus, we see a different picture.

In Jesus, the Reign of God is revealed to be peaceful, merciful, compassionate and just. Yes, evil is confronted, but always from a place of love for enemies. And, yes, God’s Reign is proclaimed as the ultimate authority that will overcome all others, but not through violence and destruction. Rather, it is through the cross – the sacrificial, serving, loving way of Christ – that God’s Reign floods the world.

This week we will open our hearts to gain a new vision of this amazing Reign of Christ.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.