There are kings and there are kings. Some are hungry kings. Some crowned themselves as kings for selfish reasons. In one of the parishes where I pastured the flock of God, there was a pastoral visit by the chief shepherd under whose diocese I was earlier incardinated by ordination. On that fateful day, each zone in the parish was assigned a definite canopy after the Pontifical Mass. Food and drinks were rationed and placed before the table of each zone. After the welcome address was read, the guest of honour stood up to make his response. As he was talking, one particular zone called Christ the King zone started eating and drinking when others were listening to the guest of honour’s speech. The most annoying thing was as soon as they finished eating and drinking, they rose up and started living the arena. The guest of honour was displeased by their unchristian attitude. He shook his head in disapproval and asked me, “Why are they leaving?” This emotional question caused havoc in my sensational nerve ending. Instantly I rushed to the scene of the desertion to call the dissidents to order. By that time, many of them have disappeared like ghosts. Indeed Saint Paul underscores that “their belly is their god and they feel proud of what should be their shame. They only think of earthly things” (Phil. 3:19). By the power conferred on me from above, I commanded the remnants to seat down and give honour to whom honour was due. They obliged.
Later, all the members of the dissident zone were given one month punishment of cleaning our gigantic church. Also the nomenclature of their zone was changed temporary from Christ the King zone to Food the king zone. In other words they abandoned Christ by their attachment to food and drinks. After nine days Novena of Reparation, they were reconciled to Christ and to the Church. In a solemn liturgical ceremony, they were once restored to Christ the King zone. The above narrative moves me to ask, “Who is your king?” The zone in question as described above may not be alone in such provocative attitude. Many of us are so much attached to food and drinks in such a way that they put God aside. There was a fallen Christian young man who attended a feast in the evening of Christmas day. He didn’t go to church to adore the New Born Child Jesus Christ on that memorable day. But after eating and drinking to his satisfaction, he exclaimed, “If this is Christmas, then let us celebrate it every day!” Many of us act likewise. Today innumerable young people are no more interested in the things of God. They now choose idol as their king. Thus with the help of their sponsors, they have revitalized the discarded cults of idols in our land.
I was mad on the Solemnity of Christ the King few years ago in my God’s own town. After the day’s solemn Eucharistic procession, I drove to my biological father’s home to retire for the night. At a popular market place known as Nwoye, I saw a multitude of boys and girls impossible to count. They were eating, drinking and jubilating. Different masquerades from the underworld were running up and down. I thought they were celebrating the kingship of Jesus Christ on the remarkable last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical Year. However, in my inquisitiveness, I stopped my car and asked one of the boys what was happening. He did not mince words to say, “Father, we are celebrating Isigwu festival. Come and bless us!” Isigwu was a popular idol in those old days of idolatry in my town, but which was discarded when the worshippers including the chief priest were all converted to Christianity. I lashed the young man and his followers for abandoning Jesus Christ and choosing Isigwu as their king. He went away disappointed. I also went home disappointed in own way. Disappointment met disappointment.
On daily basis, we confront three powerful enemies who pose as kings. They are: the devil, the world and the flesh. No one has seen the devil physically. He is incarnate in evil human beings. As Christians we rejected the devil and his tactics at baptism. Unfortunately some of us welcome him back by our unchristian attitudes. Some persons belong to satanic cults where the devil is worshipped as king. The members of such secret cults are endowed with evil powers, wealth and inordinate pleasure. Nonetheless we must be reminded that we are in the world but not of the world. Thus Saint Paul admonishes, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood only, but against principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10 – 12). Shine your eyes!
Money is another delusive king in our society today. Of course money in itself is good as means of transaction. Without money we cannot feed, build and meet up with the challenges of human life. However money can become an evil king when put to wrong use. Saint Paul rightly warns: “For the love of money is root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10). Money is being worshipped nowadays in various ways. Some acquire it through evil means such as kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, prostitution, cultism, human sacrifice (ogwu-ego), etc. The moral law states that the means justifies the end. On the contrary, the immoral law sees the end as justifying the means.
Our society today is controlled by inordinate acquisition of money. In government circles embezzlement of public money is no longer seen as evil. The bad leaders in the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government use public fund to fill their personal pockets and settle their cronies. Their subjects can go to blazes. Look at the bizarre manner by which the present government in power at the federal level has mapped our billions of money to buy exorbitant vehicles for their own use, when the populace that voted them into power is dying of hardship and hunger. The cost of fuel pump price does not border them. Their servants go to filling stations and fill up their petrol tanks and pay with tax payers’ money. The poor masses sweat to purchase few liters of fuel which they manage. The high cost of essential commodities has raised the blood pressure of the poor masses. Sick rate and death rate have tripled. Hence hospital and mortuary managers are smiling to the banks. Casket business is booming. The judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man, has been compromised. Consequently ‘justice’ is won by the highest bidder.
Today we are celebrating the Kingship of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Despite all odds, he is the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. He is the King of heaven and earth; even though he told Pilate that his kingship is not of this world. He is the universal King. All fake and dubious kings must surrender to him. He is the eternal King. The tenure of all fake and temporal kings ends in the grave. To whom do we pay allegiance by thoughts, words and actions? Are we for the King Jesus Christ or against Him? Action speaks louder than voice. In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ every knee shall bow. Have you bowed? If you do not bow, your knee shall be disconnected from its socket. God forbid!
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