The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
By Karen Riobo
Happy Feast of Christ the King! On the last Sunday of the liturgical year, Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. Established in the 20th century, this feast gives special recognition to the dominion Christ our Lord has over all aspects of our lives.
The Solemnity of Christ the King offers us the opportunity to reflect on the Kingdom that Christ came to establish.
Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my Kingdom is not from the world.” John 18:36
His Kingdom stands on mercy, love, righteousness, and hope. He is all-powerful and omnipresent.
History of the Feast.
In a time where there was an increase in the denial of the existence of Christ, which simultaneously led to a rise in secularism throughout Europe. Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925 to be celebrated throughout the universal Church in his encyclical Quas Primas. Pius XI desired to counter-attack the rise of non-Christian (or nominally Christian) dictatorships throughout Europe and saw Catholics being persuaded by these earthly leaders. These dictators also often attempted to assert authority over the Church.
The pope hoped the institution of the feast would have various effects. They were:
- That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom and immunity from the state (Quas Primas, 31).
- That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Quas Primas, 32).
- That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (Quas Primas, 33).
The Kingdom of God; a place of Love and Redemption.
In Matthew 5: 1-12, Jesus shared with His disciples a detailed description of those for whom the Kingdom was established. He does not desire to be with the mighty but with the poor in spirit. He longs to rest with us forever in heaven. Whenever you forget who is the true King, read this passage and be comforted because He keeps close to these :
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
- Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
It is affirming and comforting to know that we obey and live under the reign of a Servant King. A king that laid down his own life for the sake of our freedom from evil. A Humble King that came for the poor and being the owner of all, was born in an improvised manger. A Healer King who took our sin so that we could have life and life in abundance.
For this kind of Kingdom many disciples are martyrs and great saints. Today, Syrian Christians, in particular, live oppression every single day and are killed because they profess their faith.
God encourages us to courageously live our faith and invites us even amid our suffering and persecution to rejoice and be glad because our reward will be great in heaven. His Kingdom is not of this world.
Is Christ enthroned in your heart?
Christ, King of the Universe! Pray for us!