Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Solemnity

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Solemnity

With great prescience, Pope Pius XI, as recently at 1925, established the original feast of Christ the King as an antidote to cultural and nationalist battles against religion. Knowing what the Church was facing, he offered a sign of hope for Christians, and a reminder of the supremacy of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The culture of our era has raised secularism to the status of a religion, in direct opposition to Catholic culture. The whims of the state have supplanted the natural law, instilled in each of us by God, as the new height of authority. Those who dare to express or exercise their Christian religious beliefs are mocked, subjugated, even persecuted. The Judeo Christian values which once formed the foundation of a fair society are now denigrated. The shaky foundation upon which today's society is built is like sand, shifting by the caprice of materialistic, secular forces. Authority has been diminished by the lack of integrity of those in authority, who have cast God out of the public realm.

Secularism believes that good can be done without reference to or inspiration from God. Jesus is Truth and Love, and it is only through Him that truth and love abound. In his encyclical, Quas Primas, Pope Pius XI points to the doctrine of Jesus' kingship that is evident throughout Scripture. It was his aim that all nations and people would recognize that Jesus is to reign over all, that obedience is due to Him in all things. He established the feast to draw the attention of nations to the foundation that is Jesus Christ, to His ultimate authority over individuals, families, and societies, indeed, the whole universe. He also wished to see that the Church would be left free to practice all that she preaches, unimpeded by the state, free of the anticlericalism that permeates public life.

As Pope Pius XI stated, it is only when everyone recognizes that all authority is given by and through Our Lord that authority will have a solid foundation and the ability to govern righteously and peacefully. Christ must reign in our minds, our wills, our hearts, and over our bodies, that we may submit ourselves to and believe all He teaches through His Church, obey Him in all things, love Him above all things, and serve Him in all ways. The solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, celebrated on the last Sunday of Ordinary Time, is an opportunity to proclaim Our Lord's reign throughout the world. It gives us great hope for achieving the Christian ideal, and great help in working towards the perfection and the sanctification to which Christ, Our King calls us all. This year, the solemnity falls on November 23, the date of the execution of Blessed Miguel Pro. May the words that he proclaimed as he was martyred for the Faith be ever on our own lips: Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King!

Nancy Arey

November 15, 2014
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