November 25, 2018
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Our Opening Prayer speaks of God’s power, “Almighty and merciful God, you break the power of evil and make all things new in your Son Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe.” Pope Pius XI instituted today’s feast of Christ the King in 1925 to confront the rising tide of secularism among the nations. The pope hoped that the feast would have three effects. First, that nations would be reminded that the Church “has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state.” Second, that “not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ.” And third, that the faithful would “gain much strength and courage,” as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our minds, wills, hearts, and bodies (Quas Primas, 31-33).
When asked, “What exactly is the kingship of Christ?”, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said: “It is not that of the kings and of the great of this world; it is the divine power to give eternal life, to liberate from evil, to defeat the dominion of death. It is the power of love that can draw good from evil, soften a hardened heart, bring peace to the bitterest conflict, turn the thickest darkness into hope. It is never imposed and always respects our freedom.” Angelus, November 22, 2009
Consider the King Jesus before Pilate, even while a prisoner awaiting judgment, Jesus speaks with great calm and majesty. Christ is no competitor in the political arena. His power is proper to WHO He is, as the Incarnate Son of God, the Alpha and the Omega. He has no need to compel us by force. He creates us only to share His life and love with us, bears our humanity to share His divine life with us. He’s a King who washes the feet of His servants, an All-Powerful God who “kneels down before us so as to exalt us” (Ratzinger, God and the World, 259). Ours is a King who exercises His power only that we might reign with Him. “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and He has lifted up the lowly (Lk 1:52). He comes, as we pray in today’s Preface, to establish a “kingdom of justice, love and peace.” So let us serve Him, a worthy King to adore, Christ, our King!
Catechism Question of the Week: The role of the Laity: A) includes remaining neutral to temporal things with which they are closely associated so as not to impose Catholic views on others. B) includes working so that the divine message of salvation is shared among other Catholics. C) is of vital importance in bringing the message of Christ where they have unique access. D) consecrates the world to God offering worship by the holiness of their lives. (CCC 898-901)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: Christ has come, and Christ will come again. Will I be ready for His coming, and what can I do to be even better prepared?
In Christ’s Peace,
Rev. Leo M. Goodman III