|Michael E. Cickovski ’88
Today is a day that reminds us that Jesus is our king. But what kind of king is he?
We often think of kings as individuals who consolidate power, authority, and wealth under their own control. The concept is foreign to those of us who have lived in democracies our entire lives. For us, power comes from the people who chose their leaders through regular elections. Leaders have power only by virtue of the consent of the governed.
Jesus is not a leader in the sense of a modern democratic leader nor in the sense of a traditional historical monarch. Today’s gospel shows us that Jesus is the king who comes to us, through every age, in the form of the poor, the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and the hungry. Jesus is the king who casts aside power, authority, and wealth so that he can identify with those who are most in need. He is a king who invites our loyalty rather than coercing it. The most dramatic aspect of this reading is the fact that Jesus tells us that service to others is truly (and literally) service to him.
Jesus’ kingship is a transformation of our idea of kingship on every level. He arrives as a baby and leaves on the cross. Today’s feast reminds me that every position of leadership that God has entrusted to me must be, first and foremost, an opportunity to serve others.
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