Professional baseball has a trade deadline late in the season. Often teams that are making a run for the playoffs will make a last minute trade for a player that can help their chances to make the playoffs. Imagine if you were a player on a last place team, personally having a good year but stuck on a team with no hope and you get a call that informs you that you have been traded to a team that is likely to win it all. Overnight you are transferred from a losing team to a true contender. Bonus!
All of us as Christians have been transferred. At one time we lived under “the power of darkness” (Col 1,13) in our life and through the grace, love and mercy of God our Father we have been delivered from the darkness of sin that enslaved us and have been transferred to a new life of light and grace in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the King. This gracious transfer has given us new hope and a new way of life that allows us to be what we have been created and called to be, children of light and children of God. St. Paul reminds us of this transfer that we have been gifted with, “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1,13) To prepare us for this transfer to a new life in the Kingdom of Jesus, God the Father “has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.”(Col 1,12) Through the grace and mercy of God we have been prepared in baptism to live a new life in the light of Christ. This transfer is not something that we have earned or that we deserve but rather it is a gracious gift that God has bestowed upon us in love. When we began our lives, being born in original sin, we were not fit for the Kingdom of light but God has delivered us from the power of darkness and given us the opportunity of living in freedom, free to be what we were created to be, children of light, children of God and children of the Kingdom.
This transfer gives us a new position in which we now work among new associates. The co-workers that we work with are “the holy ones in light”. Now as we take up our new position in the Kingdom of Jesus we are called to be one of these holy ones. We are part of a team that now is entrusted with bringing the light of Christ into a world of darkness. We have new responsibilities to live as children of the light and to serve the cause of salvation. Our new “coach” is Jesus Christ the King. He is the “light of the world” and we are called to bring that light to all people. The new Kingdom that we are a part of does not operate on the same principles as the old kingdom of darkness. We do not seek power through placing ourselves above others and seeking to make ourselves more important, rather, our model is one of service and sacrifice. Jesus Christ our King has established his Kingdom through laying down his life and offering his life as a sacrifice for others. Those who are fit to live in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the King are those who are willing to humble themselves, live their lives in service and offer themselves as a sacrifice of love.
In the gospel of Luke we see the establishment of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the King on the throne of the cross. This kingdom is established on the cross of suffering. Jesus “loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.” (Jn 13,1) Jesus does not “save himself” but rather he gives his life as a gift, an offering of salvation for others. The power that he demonstrates for us is the power of love, a love that is faithful to the end. Those who are in darkness cannot recognize the power of Jesus that shines through his sacrifice on the cross. They mock Jesus and shower insults upon him. However, like the penitent thief, there are those who recognize the power of the cross and seek to be a part of the new Kingdom of grace, seeking a last minute transfer. All those who ask for forgiveness, who acknowledge their faults before the Lord and seek new life in Jesus are delivered from the power of darkness and are transferred into the Kingdom of grace and mercy.
We have been transferred to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the King and now we must live as one of the holy ones in light. The Kingdom of Christ is “an eternal and universal kingdom, a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” (Preface) Today we rejoice in this new life that is ours in Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!