Feast of Christ the King

Posted: November 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

christ-the-king-image-1024x816This week is the last week of the Churches year and is marked by the feast of Christ the King. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent (A briefing on the 30th November will outline some Advent traditions as well as prepare us for the Year of Mercy).

The feast of Christ the King was instituted by Pope Pius XI and causes us to meditate on the Second and Final Coming of Christ, the last Judgment, and the end of the world.

From the dawn of civilization, kings have arisen who have dreamed of possessing a world-wide dominion, a universal kingdom that would last forever. Some have come close to conquering much of the known world–Alexander, Genghis Khan and Augustus Caesar, to name a few. And some kingdoms have lasted a very long time, such as Rome whose Eastern half lingered on for 2000 years.  Despite all their self-glorifying monuments, the great rulers of the earth all proved mortal like anybody else and their kingdoms, too, ultimately passed away, leaving abundant ruins for generations of tourists and archaeologists to explore.

The feast of Christ the King celebrates the fact that there is one who is remarkably different. He came to serve all, even His enemies. He truly was a Son of Man, with a vulnerable human nature. But He was also truly Son of God. Not in some mythological sense, like the Pharaohs, or the wishful thinking sense, like the Caesars, but really and truly, the Immortal, the Eternal, taking the form of a mortal man in a specific time in history.

Rather than executing His opponents, He forgave them. Rather than dominating His subjects, He exalted them. He even called them not servants, but friends, and bestowing on them a share in His priesthood and kingship. Though He died, like other kings, it was for a different purpose than Augustus in his bed or Hitler in his bunker. He died willingly to save His people, and His death was not a result of a battle lost or a plan gone wrong, but of a glorious victory planned before the world began.

The Roman Catholic Church instituted this feast of Christ the King during a dark period in our history.  The feast serves as a reminder to us that we know the end of the story and should not be fooled by the braggarts who strut and the bullies who gloat. They’ll be gone soon. And He’ll be here soon. How soon no one knows.

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