Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Perhaps Misunderstood Feast

Today is the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of our big Feasts in the Missionary Cenacle Family.

There are some who seem to be put off by the title of this feast. They say the idea of “king”, royalty is passé, and therefore find it difficult to relate to this title of Jesus.

Perhaps today’s expression of royalty is different. Some political families have been referred to as dynasties. Every movement of certain entertainers is watched. In a way they “dictate” the latest fashion. Athletes, while they might not be referred to as royalty, seem to command salaries fit for royalty! And, people walk around in clothing with their favorite athlete’s name on it. So in a way there is a modern day royalty and, sadly, many in this modern day royalty have “fallen from their thrones”, caused disappointment and sadness to their “followers”.

As Christians we know there is only one King worth following. “His throne will last forever” and, He will never cause us sadness or disappointment.

Pope Pius XI universally instituted The Feast of Christ the King in 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas. Pope Pius XI noted that many Christians, even Catholics, were doubting Christ's authority, as well as the Church's, and even doubting Christ's existence. Pius XI, and the rest of the Christian world, witnessed the rise of dictatorships in Europe, and, most unfortunately, saw Catholics being taken in by these earthly leaders.

Jesus knew the oppressive nature of secular kings, and in contrast to them, he connected his role as king to humble service, and commanded his followers to be servants as well. In other passages of Scripture, his kingdom is tied to his suffering and death.

When we celebrate Christ as King, we are not celebrating an oppressive ruler, but one willing to die for humanity and whose "loving-kindness endures forever." Christ is the king that gives us true freedom, freedom in Him. Thus we must never forget that Christ radically redefined and transformed the concept of kingship. (

The more we can make Christ the King and Center of our hearts, the more we can be assured that the kingdom of God dwells within us. This Kingdom is one of “…righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Righteousness, peace and joy, qualities lacking in the pre-World War II world of the 1920’s! Not exactly abounding today either. Let’s strive together to make “God’s Kingdom Come” in our hearts and in our world.

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