Jesus, my King and Bridegroom…

Crucifixion, Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Crucifixion, Bartolome Esteban Murill

This evening at Mass, on the Solemnity of Christ the King, I watched as the line formed to receive Our Lord’s Precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion.

Is Jesus not the most approachable of Kings?  One Who is humble, condescending and generous beyond all imagining!

As I took my place in the Communion line I thought of how this Glorious King does not seek to surround Himself with the rich and powerful of His Kingdom, but prefers the simple and ordinary souls who would never be allowed in the presence of an earthly king.

Yet, if Jesus has any favorites, it is the poorest, most despised and rejected among us.  His heart aches to love the least loved.  His Mercy burns for the most wretched sinner. Jesus is the King of Love.

As I drew nearer to the priest and glanced above the altar, I did not behold a King robed in magnificent garments and crowned with jewels.  I saw a gentle and irresistible King, hanging on a cross and wearing a crown of thorns.

This is Jesus Who is both King and Bridegroom, Whose Merciful Heart longs to wed every soul to Himself, to give each a share in His Eternal Glory and even a participation in His Own Divine Life.

That is what you do when you wed someone.  You give them all that you have, and all that you are.  And when Jesus gives Himself to us in Holy Communion, that is what He does.  He gives ALL.

And for a throne, Jesus desires our hearts….yours and mine.  How unthinkable that He would prefer us over all Creation, but He does.  He yearns to be King of our hearts and make His dwelling there.  He told us so on the night before He died.

Anyone who loves Me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him
and make a home in him. (John 14:23) NJB

I could never find a picture for this post, glorious and beautiful enough to illustrate Jesus as He reigns in Heaven.  But, I don’t think Jesus minds at all.  He still bears His Wounds in Glory.

And somehow, I think He prefers the crown of thorns over any crown of gold and precious stones.

It is His Crown of Love….this King of Love.  My King.  Hopefully, your King too..

Our Heavenly Bridegroom!

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“We have no king but Caesar…” (John 19:16)

Samuel thought that it was wrong of them to say, “Let us have a king to judge us,” so he prayed to Yahweh. But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people….it is not you they have rejected but Me, not wishing Me to reign over them any more. Do as they ask and give them a king.”  I Samuel 8:6-8, 22

My beloved God, after all you had done for your people Israel, they rejected Your Majesty and demanded that a mere man be made their king: The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel. They said, “No! We are determined to have a king, so that we can be like the other nations, with our own king to rule us and lead us and fight our battles.” (I Samuel 8:20-21)

My Jesus, how foolish we are to think that the creature is preferable to the Creator…that worldly things will ever satisfy our hearts. Yet, you permit us to choose what we wish. Surely your heart broke when Your people rejected Your Kingship.

It is so painful to read these verses in Scripture, and yet I know that I too have many times rejected Your sovereignty.  My heart breaks to realize that truth. But today, I ask You to be my Lord and King forever…let nothing created ever distract my gaze from Your Beauty. Let me entrust my heart to no one but You. Grant that I may fight all of my battles under the banner of Your Cross.

Jesus, you know that I have secretly rejoiced that I live in a place and time in which I have never been subject to an earthly king. Yet among your Saints are numbered kings and queens. It is not royalty which offends you, but enslavement to sin, whether among king or peasant.

My Almighty One, I kiss the scepter of Your Cross and bow before Your Divine Majesty. Rule over me in all things, as I strive to finish my battle in this foreign land, and then bring me swiftly into Your Eternal Kingdom where I will adore you Face to face forever and ever, O King of all kings!

Then I heard all the living things in creation–everything that lives in Heaven, and on earth, and under the earth and in the sea, crying:
To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb,
be all praise, honor, glory and power,
forever and ever. (Revelation 5: 13)