#12: Mercy Is King

The Jubilee year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on November 20th...God’s mercy, rather than a sign of weakness, is the mark of his omnipotence.
— Pope Francis

Kings (or their contemporary counterparts) are about privilege and power.  When we think of them, our fantasies about omnipotence – unbridled willfulness - kick in.  

Whatever kings want to do, they do. Whatever gets in their way is quickly overcome. Even if they want to do good, there would certainly be opposition that must be crushed.  This type of dominance seems to be salve for our real situations of not having all the power we want.  

Of course, we project this type of power on God who is the ultimate King. Then we ask why God, who can do anything, allows suffering. We concoct answers. Some are more convincing than others, but none fully satisfy us – either intellectually or emotionally.    

How far these mental games of power are from the Christian revelation!

Christ the King is Jesus dying on the cross. God’s son is accompanying and entering into human dying so that no one who dies will ever be alone.  The mercy of God – real power – is a non-abandoning love that brings life out of death.   

In order to understand this real power of mercy, we have to starve our ego fantasies and start the mental and behavioral processes of being presence to one another. In this way the year of mercy will become a seed in our relationships and a catalyst in the ongoing evolution of the society. 

As Pope Francis says, ‘Throughout the history of humanity, God will always be the One who is present, close, provident, holy, and merciful.” And so will those who open to this revelation of Christ the King. 

Mercy is King.


© John Shea