Christ the King

November 26, 2017

A newspaper story some time back recorded the grim incident of a police officer shot and killed in the line of duty. His great desire was to see his family's backyard completely landscaped, a desire he never saw fulfilled, because of the bullet that ended his life.

Some of his fellow officers, who had grown to love their fallen comrade, donated their time and money to complete the work. Because it was the policeman's desire to finish the project it became his friends' desire. (Allen Hadidian, Discipleship, 1987).

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, which marks the culmination of the Liturgical Year.  Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 to remind an increasingly secular world to recognize that Christ is the King, with dominion over us all, and we need to bring his teachings back into Christian lives, society, and politics. Pope Pius XI wrote: "...When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony... That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to that end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ." (Quas primas, #19, 21).

And still, we are saying the same things in our secular world today. Like the friends of the fallen police officer, as disciples of Christ, we should love what he loves and complete what he desires. 

Jesus’ first proclaimed message as he began his public ministry was, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” His central teaching throughout the Gospels is the Kingdom of God.

And although God has always been present in the world, He is truly present, flesh and blood, in the human person of Jesus.  His mission is to establish His Kingdom.  In many parables, such as we have heard the past few Sundays, Jesus begins with, “The kingdom of God is like…” 

The ultimate manifestation of this kingdom is heaven, when we are in union with God – participating in the life of the Holy Trinity.  This reality must begin somewhere.  As in the parable of the Mustard Seed, we see that it begins with a tiny seed – the Word of God – that one accepts.  It is the life of grace within every person.

Pray for all people that the mustard seed, the Word of God, continues to grow in every one of us.

Kathryn Richards