One of my favorite movies of all time, well trilogies of all time is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As you may know, this movie is based on a series of books by the same title the Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. What I especially love about these movies, outside of how good they are, is how many elements of the faith come out in the book and the film. Let me show you one example, as you may know, Sam and Frodo get separated from the rest of the group and are trying to bring the ring to mount doom to destroy it, in the heart of the enemy stronghold. The good guys just won a massive battle but the enemy stronghold still stands, and unless Frodo and Sam destroy the ring all of that will mean nothing. So Aragorn, who is the next king, suggests they lead their armies to the gates of the enemy stronghold, to empty their lands to give Sam and Frodo a free path to mount doom. It’s a crazy plan and as one of my favorite characters says, “certainty of death, small chance of success, what are we waiting for!” They go to the gates, face certain death and draw the armies out. Than Aragorn gives them a speech to rouse them up and leads them on a charge to the enemy. I won’t spoil what happens, but we see something in Aragorn that too we see in other characters, following after the example of Christ and being Christ-like in the way they live their lives.
Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday in Ordinary time but also a key title of Jesus himself. Jesus is the king of the Universe he is the king of all of our lives, and we are called to follow him in our lives. (This was removed for my second homily, the recording posted) Aragorn too is a king, but he isn’t only just Christ-like in the fact that he is a ruler and people serve them. He also is Christ-like as he willingly puts their needs before his own, even if that means losing his own life. Aragorn knows that two small hobbits were likely to be caught, but if he can distract them long enough, long enough for them to have a free path, they could destroy the ring. The only thing is Aragorn will have to sacrifice himself and perhaps even die to complete this mission. (end of removal)
Jesus too does the same thing, he knows that without him we would die to our sin, cut off for all eternity, but our King becomes man and dies for us on the cross. He willingly gives up his life so that we can be free and enter into his kingdom and have eternal life.
We are called to follow this king to serve him in our lives. Jesus didn’t come to be a political ruler, a divine warrior who would overthrow the nations and establish a new kingdom. Instead, he becomes like us and dies on across so that we can be set free.
Jesus didn’t just come to die for us on the cross and free us from sin; he came to establish his kingdom. We see in our first reading that one like a Son of Man will come from the clouds, and he receives dominion, glory, and kingship. Daniel is prophesying the coming ofGod’s kingdom given to the son of Man who is Jesus. Revelation shows us that Jesus has taken this kingship and is the ruler of the kings of the earth. Revelation also tells us “who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father. While we do see the Church on earth, it doesn’t exactly look like a kingdom. However, Jesus tells us, “my kingdom does not belong to this world.” This is what ourLord came to establish here on earth, a kingdom that was nothing like any kingdom that came before it. Rather, a kingdom that has its foundation in heaven, a kingdom where we hope to live for all eternity.
How do we become a part of this kingdom, what do we need to do in our lives to follow afterChrist the King and be with him in his kingdom forever? Simply put we need to follow after the example of Christ. Jesus wants us to love as he loved, giving himself over to sanctify us, dying on the cross out of love for us. We are called to love God and Love our neighbor; this is in a sense the way we enter God’s kingdom.
Aragorn was a good example of Christ because of the way he lived his life as a sacrifice for others. Sacrifice is another way we can follow after Christ and be a part of his kingdom. Revelation tells us that he has made us into a kingdom of priests. While Jesus has called some men to be priests or like Father and what I hope to become. However, he has called all of us to follow after Christ’s priesthood by making sacrifices. Priests through history made sacrifices to God; we can do this too even if we are not ordained as priests. It may be a sacrifice like going to a football game in the pouring rain to support your son and his school. Waking up early in the morning to work and provide for your family, waking up in the middle of the night because your child had a nightmare. Every small sacrifice is our opportunity to become more like Christ. God calls some men to follow after Christ by becoming priest’s who will offer sacrifices on behalf of the people, who will say mass, hear confession and anoint the sick. Maybe God is calling one of you to this priesthood. However, all of us are called to be priests in the way we offer sacrifices. As we continue to follow after Christ in our own lives, let us follow after the example ofChrist the king and the priest and willingly lay down our lives for others in the little sacrifices we make each day.