The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory
Solemnity of Christ the King

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

After the recitation of the Lord’s prayer, the priest prays, “Deliver us Lord from every evil and give us peace in our days, in your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.” The people then recite the acclamation, “For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory now and forever. Amen.” This was taken from today’s second reading (Rev. 1:5-8).

Action starter: What promotes the kingdom among my earthly activities?

This brief acclamation expresses the core of today’s celebration of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him belongs the kingdom, the power, and the glory. As the second reading expresses, Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:8). The Chrisitan vision of the human struggle is optimistic and hopeful. Despite our human failings, human history is being directed towards its destiny, that Christ wil be “all in all. According to the scientist-theologian, Teilhard de Chardin, whose thoughts inspired the Second Vatican Council’s document on the Church in the modern world, the end of evolution is the “Christification” of the whole creation. This is another way of saying that there will be a new heaven and a new earth in answer to our prayer, “Thy kingdom come.”

The Scriptures give us different images of what the kingdom is all about. It is described as a social condition where peace, justice, and love reign. It is where there is no more hunger, thirst, or tears. It is where sin no longer holds reign and where grace abides. As some theologians try to summarize it, the kingdom is liberation from all evils and salvation from sin.

The Lord Jesus gave us more graphic and simpler descriptions. The kingdom of God is where the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, and the homeless are sheltered. His summary description is where “good news is preached to the poor.” It is like a son gone wild who finds welcome in the home of his father. It is like a king’s banquet where everyone from the highways and the byways is invited. It is where prostitutes, drunkards, and the non-pious people are surprisingly welcome. It is the place of peacemakers, the merciful, the humble, the pure of heart and the persecuted for holiness’ sake. It is the answer to one’s need for belongingness, acceptance, friendship, and community.

All these images of the kingdom point to something that answers and goes beyond our human expectations of happiness and fulfillment. From this perspective, Jesus rightly says, “My kingdom does not belong to this world” (John 18:36). During the time of Jesus, the Jews had their own earthly expectations of the kingdom. The patriots among them expected a kingdom like that of the Romans where the glory days of David and Solomon would be restored under an earthly king-messiah. That Jesus would suffer a humiliating death on the cross was a source of scandal and disappointment. The Christian story however did not end on the cross. Where some earthly kingdoms fall with the death of the king, Jesus’ kingdom rose and spread with His death and resurrection.

The kingdom, the power, and the glory belongs to Jesus yet He shares it with us. “He has made us into a kingdom, priests for His God and Father” (Rev. 1:6). We have become heirs of the kingdom. We have become a kingly and priestly people. We may experience ourselves as having feet of clay and seemingly bound to this earth, but in faith we claim our heritage and legacy as children of God.

It is therefore not right that God’s children are treated like they are less than human. It is not right that God’s children fight among themselves. It is not right that the stronger ones take advantage of the weaker ones. It is not right to think of ourselves as merely citizens of this earth and focus on how much pleasure, possession and power we can get. The citizens of God’s kingdom are to be responsible stewards of this earth and of one another.

Such thoughts about the kingdom may offer some insights into the current Philippine realities. The political heat is on in the Philippines. Would-be-kings and kingmakers are getting busy with plans to gain their version of the kingdom, the power, and the glory. We citizens and electorates have to contend with such earthly realities and struggles. As we try to exercise judicious decisions may Jesus’ own vision of the kingdom be our guide -- that which is good news to the poor.