Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Feast of Christ the King (Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost—28 October A.D. 2018
Ave Maria!


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Mass Text - English
Mass Text - Latin

Preface of Christ the King
Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Recited after Mass today)


“Thou art My Son,; this day I have begotten Thee....
I will give Thee the nations for an inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Thy possession.”

    Today is the feast of Christ the King—a comparatively new feast as things go in the Church—celebrated only since 1926, after being instituted by Pope Pius XI.  Pope Pius told a twentieth century war torn world: “Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.”[2]  But, of course, our Lord's kingship itself is as old as time.  Our Lord is king, not by usurpation, or force, or political intrigue.  Rather, He is king by virtue of being our Creator, “for without Him was made nothing that has been made.”[3]

    “My kingdom,” He tells us, “is not of this world.”[4]  Yet, in saying this to Pontius Pilate, He is not denying His own authority over men and manmade institutions.  If anything, he is indicating that His kingdom is not so small or restricted as to be bound by worldly limits.  His kingdom extends not only to the Earth, Moon, and Stars, but to the very firmament of the eternal kingdom of Heaven as well.  “All power has been given to Me, both in Heaven and on Earth.”[5]

    “All power," indeed—but it is instructive to examine the way in which our Lord exercised that power over those subject to Him.  First of all, let us see what our Lord was not—what He didn't do in the exercise of His kingship.

    Above all, He was not a military leader.  We have no image of Him with a big sword in His hand, leading troops against the enemies of God's people.  Indeed, He generally urged passivity toward the occupying Roman legions.  His followers are urged to “turn the other cheek,” and to “go the extra mile.”[6]  This latter phrase is significant, referring to the legal right of the Roman soldier to force a non-Roman to carry his baggage for distances up to a mile.  Not only is Christ not counseling revolution, but He is saying simply to ignore the Roman trespassers—the worldly things which they are concerned are just not worth getting excited about.  They are foreigners, perhaps, but they are not doing anything worse than any other government.  Pay your taxes, act civilly, and they leave you alone.

    Likewise, He is not a political leader, trying to outsmart the Romans, or to change the local Jewish government, or to take authority away from the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  He is not trying to get His share of votes in the Sanhedrin or the Senate.

    Nor is He an economic planner or a businessman.  He amassed virtually no wealth—He seems to have owned only His clothing.  He was, in fact, so free of guile that He appointed Judas to be His treasurer!

    In short, our Lord did not come to earth to establish an army, or an economic system, or a political party—not even to preach the theory of these things.  He came to establish His kingdom in a far different way.  He came to rule in men's hearts and minds, so as to lead them to happiness in an eternal kingdom

    A few words will suffice to explain what our Lord did do—how He exercised His eternal kingdom on Earth.  In everything, His rule was—perhaps “is” is a better word—is directed to the eternal perspective.  It is not directed toward the transient materiality of the world.

    Certainly, our Lord practices His kingship as legislator, or law giver.  And, like any good lawgiver, His laws are just—and—they serve to benefit those who obey them.  “Thou shalt not have any false gods, or kill, or commit adultery, or steal, or lie....”  All of His laws reflect the reality of our nature.  By obeying them we doing what is naturally best for us.  “Following the manufacturer's instructions,” as it were.

    He manifests His kingship as executive, day by day, and moment by moment, carrying out the His administration of all things.  He numbers the hairs of your head, and the sands of the seashore—He calls each of the stars by name.

    And ultimately, He is judge, weighing all things with the combination of His infinite mercy and justice.  Our most bold offenses, as well as our most hidden sins will one day be exposed to the blinding light of His judgment.

    His “kingdom is not of this world,” but, at least in part, it is in this world.    By our very nature, we are subject to Him.  We exist because He created us, and because He keeps us in existence.  What is truly good for us is precisely what is required of us in His law.

    He established no political party, but all legitimate authority comes from Him; whether it be the authority of a king, or a president, or a parliament; whether it be the authority of the Church, or a diocese, or a parish; even the authority in a family comes naturally from Christ our King.

    It is a serious mistake to think that any society can legitimately exist without acknowledging and paying the honor that is due to almighty God.  And, certainly, no society can institutionalize the breaking of His laws and expect to receive His continued blessing and protection.  This is something that we should continue to call to the attention of our politicians, and keep firmly in mind in our organizations and families.

    It is, then, an important concept which we call to mind in today's feast.  Jesus Christ is our Lord, and Redeemer, and King.

    It is important that we understand this correctly.  The apostle who expected Jesus to beat down the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom was disappointed, betrayed his master, and hanged himself.  It was this Judas who was concerned that some ointment offered by Mary Magdalene “could be sold for a great price, and given to the poor.”[7]  Not that he was concerned with the poor, but that he wanted to fatten the treasury probably to steal it.  Judas was concerned with governments, and economic systems, and armies, and politics; and he was disappointed, “and it would have been better for him if he were not born.”[8]

    Christ is King, more correctly, in a more general and all encompassing way.  He is our ultimate lawgiver, executive, and judge.   He is king of a kingdom which is in this world, but is not of this world.  The kingdom of which we are most properly citizens is not bound by the shores of any river or ocean, nor by the peaks of any mountain range.  It is not bound by political party, nor economic program.  It is not bound by a few hundred, or even a thousand years of history.

    The kingdom of which we are properly citizens is the eternal and boundless kingdom of God, which only begins in this world, but finds fulfillment in the next.


    Long live Jesus Christ! !

    Long live Christ the King ! !




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