[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n times when many world leaders seem to be indifferent or opposed to the Christian way of life, it is vital that we remember who truly is king, who truly reigns over our societies and our lives. This is an excellent moment to reflect on this, as we will be celebrating the feast of Christ the King. It is a time to remember Christ’s words: “In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Historically speaking, the Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man’s thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ’s royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.
A deeper look:
Who reigns in my life? Who reigns over my decisions, my actions, my heart? These are all questions that we must ask ourselves. But, first, perhaps we should ask what we mean when we say “reigns.”
The life of Jesus of Nazareth redefines what we commonly understand as kingship. His reign consists of service to mankind and obedience to his heavenly Father. He reigns from his throne, the cross.
We, as baptized, are called to participate in his kingship. How? Above all, doing all that is possible so that the “reign of sin” is conquered in our own hearts. If we accept Christ’s reign into our lives, he in turn offers peace and freedom from the misery of sin. Our acceptance should be an active one. We must participate in this movement by living a life of morality, a life in which the slavery of corruption is conquered and replaced by the freedom of the glory of the sons of God (Rom 8:21). In doing so, through the grace of baptism, we become active participants in Christ’s kingship.
However, Christ’s kingship is universal and designed to reach all nations. In welcoming Christ as our King into our hearts, we also need to work so as to spread his reign throughout the world. We do so by placing our lives at the service of the highest values, enduring whatever sacrifices and difficulties are necessary in order to educate, purify, and orient our surrounding culture (those around us and the social environment) towards the Lord and his teachings.
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla writes: “By ‘impregnating culture and human works with a moral value (See Part 2 of Gaudium et Spes), Christians act on themselves and others to bring about that kingship of man which is essentially realized through moral values. In this way they also labor for the increase of Christ’s kingdom in the world, because when all areas of human life are imbued with moral value, ‘the field of the World is better prepared for the seed of the divine word and the doors of the Church are opened more widely so that the message of peace may enter into the world’ (Lg 36).
Listening to the Magisterium:
Here is a part of the Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quas Primas about the Feast of Christ the King.
Video Information: Visuals set to the audio of the famous Protestant sermon “Seven Way King” as spoken by Dr. S.M. Lockridge. Made by Albert Martin.
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