The word ‘King’ in the Concise Oxford Dictionary is nearly given a column of explanation. Much of what is offered could be applied to Princes, Premiers, Prime Ministers, even Presidents. It could also be applied to Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes. Further, parents, mothers and fathers could find words in that column to help them be ‘Kings and Queens’ in their own families.
Kings seem to be disappearing. Those who remain have had their powers clipped. Sometimes despots, tyrants and dictators replace them in what they camouflage as progressive moves. Temptations then arrive, even for the benign holder of the office; to extend occupancy for life or to seek immunity from prosecution for their misdeeds.
As well as build a Swiss Bank Account.
Whatever the title, the initial charge for the holder of such office was to safeguard their people and to be the final arbiter of disputes.
The vision prayed in the preface of today’s Mass:
- a kingdom of truth and life
- a kingdom of holiness and grace
- a kingdom of justice, love and peace,
was spelt out over the centuries, and happily we number many Kings and Queens of all orders amongst the Saints. Added to that charter is the statement in today’s Gospel, “…in so far as you did to one of the least of these brothers (“Tutti Fratelli”) of mine, you did it to me.” All, from the least to the highest, all of us in our kingly sphere will be judged by the same rule, be we of the ten or one talent recipient.
We look over our extraordinary Covid impacted year. Not all can return to the community celebration this Sunday, but we all can, in the privacy of our heart, commit ourselves to the ideals of the Kingdom as proclaimed by Jesus. We then set about the building of that state.
What building block have you, have I, contributed to the cause this past year?
Offer the response to our King this weekend.
P.S. Thanks for your encouragement for these reflections this past year.