Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

IHS

Ave Maria!
Feast of Christ the King—Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost—25 October AD 2015

Christ the King

Mass Text - English
Mass Text - Latin

Preface of Christ the King
Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

    In the Preface of today’s Mass we read that

    God the Father, “with the oil of gladness hast anointed [His] only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as eternal high priest and universal King; that offering Himself on the altar of the Cross as an immaculate victim and peace offering, He might complete the mysteries of human redemption; and all creation being made subject to His dominion, He might deliver us into the hands of Thine infinite Majesty, a kingdom eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”[1]

    This morning we celebrate a relatively new feast in the Church's calendar.  For only in 1925, between the chaos of the two World Wars, did Pope Pius XI institute this feast of Christ the King.  He did so as something of a warning—a warning, which seems generally not to have been heeded—that unless secular powers returned to Christian principles in the running of their affairs, there would be anarchy and disorder.

    In his encyclical, Quas Primas, the Holy Father explained that Jesus Christ is indeed a King.[2]  That He exercises the three-fold power of lawgiver, executive, and judge.  And that He does so, not by any sort of force or coercion, but by virtue of being the designer and creator of all things.  He quotes St. Augustine to tell us that it was “a condescension, not a promotion, that the Son of God … by whom all things were made, should will to be King of Israël.”  Jesus Christ is King, because He is God.

    For most Americans, the idea of having a king seems a little bit backwards—and, perhaps, a little bit humiliating.  We have lived in a relatively stable republic for over 200 years.  When we think of King George, our last king, we tend to call to mind slogans about “taxation without representation,” or “give me liberty or give me death.”

    Most of us equate monarchy with dictatorship.  We think of a king as someone who has imposed his will on his people, in order to increase his glory at their expense.  And, of course, at times, this conception of monarchy has all too correct.

    But there is another side to monarchy.  If we look back to mediaeval times, we will see that people generally held a different view.  They wanted a strong king—one who could organize the kingdom and protect them against the invasion of outsiders.  They wanted a king who was willing and able to dispense justice within his own realm; one who was not afraid to challenge the powerful and the wealthy when they acted unjustly.  They wanted to be vassals of the king, for by doing homage to him, they became his men; favored by him, and honored in their own right.

    There were bad kings, as well as good kings.  Those that had real wealth and power tended to be good kings.  Those who didn't quite “have it all together” were the ones who became petty tyrants.

    We ought to understand the Kingship of Christ in a similar manner.

    Almighty God is just that—almighty, all-powerful, and possessing all that He could ever want.  He has no reason to take away our property, nor to deprive us of our liberties.  Indeed, He is the source of these things.  It is an act of condescension, and not one of aggression, that He rules over us as our King.

    Like the medieval vassal, we should understand the advantages of being one of Christ the King's subjects.

    X  It is only through this powerful King that we can repel the invasions of the devil, who would like to enter and despoil us of our property, taking from us even our very soul.

    X  It is only through this most-just King that our society can enjoy the blessings of justice.  Only where the laws of God are observed can we expect families and states and nations to work together in harmony and equity to produce and enjoy the fruits of the earth.

    X  And just as the vassals of the medieval king became important because of their relationship with him, as vassals of Christ the King, we take on a certain air of royal dignity.  An air that we know as sanctifying grace.

    In the Gospel this morning, we heard our Lord tell us that “My kingdom is not of this world.”[3]  Let us be sure that we are not mislead by this statement, for He also says, “Truly I am a King.”[4]  Christ's kingdom may not be of this world, but it surely is and should be in this world.  He does not come to usurp, or to disrupt, or to destroy, or to take over.  Rather, He comes to protect the weak, and to establish justice among men and nations.

    The kingdom of the Jews, the empire of the Romans, that of the British, and the republic of the Americans, are all transitory powers—none of them endures forever.  The only Kingdom that endures forever, the one around which all earthly kingdoms must be modeled—otherwise they will perish from the earth —is the Kingdom of God.

    [The] kingdom eternal and universal, [the] kingdom of truth and life, [the] kingdom of holiness and grace, [the] kingdom of justice, love and peace.”

    Long Live Christ the King!!

hsr1991

 

 

 

 


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