For thousands of years the royal family enjoyed privileges imposed upon the people of that society. They were born into the regal class and the society accepted them as their leaders. If they made wise decisions their people lived in peace, but if they made bad policies the whole society suffered. They ruled over the people and the people served them. The people gave the rulers the rights to receive countless privileges and associate with the aristocratic class who became their spine. Those who received the royal status were entitle to receive annual incomes from the State and were exempt from national services. They often held high positions in a society with the help of the aristocratic class who cooperated with the royal one to run a society.
The royal status once was very popular but now seems to be out of date. Modern society has changed the social status and that power and privileges reserved for the upper class became thing of the pass.
The Church celebrates the kingship of Christ annually. One may wonder whether the Feast Christ The King is feasible since the concept of kingship is irrelevant to the modern world.
There is no need for us to justify the act of giving thanks to God. However we have good reasons to celebrate the feast Christ The King. The feast itself is above time and space. We celebrate the feast because Christ is the king of love. His love gives us life and eternal life. He alone has eternal life because He has defeated the power of sin and death. The victory is not for Him but for those who believe in Him. We celebrate the feast to give thanks to Jesus for winning the battle for us.
Prophet Ezekiel gives another reason to give thanks to God because He is the Good shepherd. His love extends to the entire flock, including the sick and the lost ones.
I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest.... I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. Ex 34,15
We celebrate the feast because Christ won what we have lost; overcame where what we have submitted and succeeded where we have failed. We give thanks for God made us the coheirs of God's kingdom.
To defeat the power of sin and death Jesus went through death and walked out into the light and gave life for the world. The power of darkness is defeated. Evil spirits have been shackled and death can harm us no more. We are afraid of death because we have not embraced the resurrection of Jesus. The more we embrace to the risen Christ; the less we are afraid of death.
Another reason to celebrate the feast is to celebrate the life, full of love, Jesus has gained for us. If we live with love and mercy on earth God will welcome us with joy and love and mercy as today's gospel confirms.
Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for you heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink: I was a stranger and you made me welcome, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me Mt25,33
The image of the scattered sheep with the lost one, the stray, the wounded and the weak prophet Ezekiel depicted the image of the sick, the homeless, the unborn, the poor and the unwanted. The helping hand of the shepherd becomes the hands of each one of us. Remember we don't do the work for the shepherd but instead we do his work and therefore we are invited to take our share of his victory.