As the liturgical year ends the Church draws our attention to the reality of Christ’s kingship. At every Mass we pray the “Our Father.” In that prayer we pray for God’s kingdom to come. Every king has a kingdom over which he rules. In 1925, Pope Pius XI instituted this special feast. At that time Europe and the world were reeling from the catastrophic destruction of World War I. Secularism, nationalism and consumerism were on the rise. The old institutions, kingdoms and powers of the world were fading away. In the wake of the demise of these earthly kingdoms, Pope Pius reminded Christians then and now that the kingdom to which we belong is “spiritual and concerned with spiritual things.”
Christ is the king of this kingdom. It does not pass away. No earthly power can control it. It envelopes every aspect of our lives. Our minds, bodies, families, workplaces, politics, and everything else belong to Him. Nothing can compare to the privilege and honor of such citizenship. While a passport enables us to cross borders, Christ enables us to cross over into eternal life.
He calls us “friends.” We are not cogs in the machine or servile subjects. Our king wants the free participation of his subjects to be co-builders of his rule. Such participation means imitating our Lord’s complete self-giving love to his subjects; to serve, rather than be served.
While the old monarchies have largely faded away in history; others have risen to take their place. Consumerism, hedonism and the like try to draw us into their realms. They make promises of happiness that, while hollow, can bewitch us. The Solemnity of Christ the King serves as a reminder that our allegiance belongs to Christ and only his kingdom is worth serving.
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