Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. What a glorious day. Jesus Christ is King of all (1 Cor 15:20-26, 28). The king of the universe. The very word “Christ” means “Anointed one, or King.”
This solemnity was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quas Primas. The day was originally called the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the king. In 1969, Blessed Pope Paul VI in the motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis revised the title as “Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe.”
Priests in the Catholic Church wear white or golden color vestments to show the glory and joy behind the celebration. Other Christian bodies such as the Protestant and Orthodox adopted the day and have their own ways of celebrating it. All those Baptized share in this Kingship of Christ (CCC 1241). This day which always falls on a Sunday is the last Sunday of the Liturgical calendar. The Sunday that follows is the First Sunday of Advent which starts a new Liturgical Year. This is a reminder that Christ is the Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6). Jesus ends the Liturgical calendar and begins it. He was at the beginning of time and will judge all at the end of it as we will read in the Gospel at Mass.
The first reading tells us of the ‘Son of man’ who is, of course, Jesus coming on the clouds of heaven (Luke 24:6-7, Matthew 8:20, ). He was before the ‘Ancient One’ who is God the Father (Revelation 5:13, Revelation 4:2). Everything was given to the Son: dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages (Matthew 28:1, 1 Corinthians 15:27). Jesus is the King of the universe and is the Son of God the Father. Both along with the Holy Spirit are One Holy Trinity (John 10:30, John 15:26). Each is distinct (Matthew 3:16-17). They are not identical triplets. This reading tells us how important Christ is. Though He is a ‘Son of man’ or has human flesh, He is still God. This is called the hypostatic union (John 1:14). Jesus is the Lord of all, believers and unbelievers, life and death, all things visible and invisible (Acts 10:36). No one is above Christ (Philippians 2:10). He is the Lord and indeed robed in majesty as the Psalm tells us.
The Lord is King. All things come from Him (John 1:3). His authority cannot be moved and His throne or His authority is of old (Isaiah 43:13). Jesus took on flesh at the incarnation to get back what is His, the world; humanity (John 3:16). We must trust in this King. He is not a King who is pompous and authoritative. He is a King of love and mercy (Ephesians 2:4). A king of compassion and forgiveness. He is a King who always was, as we read in the second reading.
Jesus is the firstborn of the dead. This means that He came back from the dead. He was born from the tomb, so to speak, showing that He is the Lord of the living and the dead (Romans 14:9). Jesus is the King of all kings. We become part of His kingdom because of His love demonstrated on the Cross by the shedding of His blood for our sins, freeing us (Revelation 1:5). We become priests, prophets and kings because of this, as I stated in the introduction citing the catechism of the Catholic Church. We now await Him as He returns anytime. He will come amid the clouds (Mark 14:62). All will see Him. Those who believed in Him and those who did not believe in Him. Atheists who lived life stubbornly rejecting God will finally get their ’empirical proof’ of His existence but it will be too late at this point. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. There is no one else under whose name we are saved (Acts 4:12).
In the Gospel, we read a bit of the Passion. Pilate questions Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” After an exchange of words, Jesus says, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” The theme here is Jesus is the King. His kingdom is not of this world. If it were, the people would have been there defending Him instead of calling for His death (Mark 15:13). Today, no one seems to want to stand up for Christ. We let abortion become the law of the land. We let so-called same-sex marriage become the law of the land. We let a man dressed like a woman become ‘woman of the year.’ We let erroneous ideas spread around the world. We let our own clergy abuse others. We let division take hold in the Church forming into heretical sects who pick and choose what they want to believe; some even calling themselves ‘Catholic’ while doing so. We let people lose faith and become atheists or agnostic. I can go on and on, but I think the point is made. If we truly are part of Christ’s kingdom, we would stand up for Him and defend the truth because we listened to His voice as He told Pilate (Hebrews 3:15). What is happening? It seems our Catholic brothers and sisters do not care. They let evil win, attack the pope, bishops and one another and do not promote Christ when He is in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).
I have become a target of some of them for reminding them that attacking the Popes and bishops causes scandal, especially among outsiders. Others attacked me for criticizing the worship of cult personalities in the Church such as disgraced priest, John Corapi. What is going on? I will tell you what is going on. Satan causes division. Satan is a liar; the father of lies (John 8:44). He is causing doubt, scandal and division even among the flock of Christ in the Catholic Church (1 Peter 5:8). We must not give him victory. We must stand with Christ the King, our King. We must defend Him; His Majesty, who is witness to the truth because He IS the truth (John 14:6). If we are truly Catholic, then we must testify to the truth and not be ashamed of it (Matthew 10:32). We must challenge the world’s errors and not fight one another (Ephesians 6:12).
If Christ is truly your King, then do not turn your back to Him. Do not hide when the world roars at you with its nonsensical ramblings which it presents as ‘reason’ and ‘progress.’ Do not give in to the world so as to avoid conflict or losing friends (Ephesians 5:11). Christ’s kingdom is not of this world so we are not supposed to support the world’s ideas (John 17:16). We will be hated because of Christ (Matthew 10:22). This is expected and we must not fear and run away (2 Timothy 1:7). Stand up and defend your King! Do not be a lukewarm Catholic (Revelation 3:16). Remember what Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Laudetur Christus Rex!