The Lord is King, let the Earth Rejoice

Yesterday the Church celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This important feast day should remind Catholics that Christ is our only true King. He is King of Heaven and Earth. He created the world, the universe and every person. He is the Head of the Catholic Church. He is the Our Lord and Savior.

We live in a time when too many people have forgotten the truth of the Kingship of Christ. People seek other rulers, putting their trust in politicians, government agencies, international organizations, the media, science, and technology, expecting them to solve every problem. People look to humans to do what only God can do. For example, some people believe humans have the power to completely control nature. Even in the Catholic Church, some members have forgotten that Jesus is Head of the Church, His Mystical Body, as they ignore His Revelation in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and seek to change the Church’s teachings.

The situation of society replacing God with human leaders and ideologies has increased, but it is not new. When Pope Pius XI wrote his encyclical, Quas Primas (The Kingship of Christ), which established the new feast day of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, there was increased secularization in many countries and persecution of Catholics in Russia and Mexico. Pope Pius XI wrote that he hoped this new feast day would bring about respect for the Church’s freedom. “When we pay honor to the princely dignity of Christ, men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power. ” (31) He also hoped the new feast day would remind political rulers to “give public honor and obedience to Christ” (21) and help the faithful to gain “strength and courage enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal.” (33). Pope Pius XI explained the way Jesus must reign in every person. “He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to Him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls…”(33) 

Jesus began His public ministry by preaching about the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14), and calling people to repentance and faith. In his Angelus Address on November 26, 2006, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that it was on the Cross where Jesus revealed His Kingship of love. “…by offering himself in expiation for the sin of the world, he defeated the ‘ruler of this world’ (Jn 12:31) and established the Kingdom of God once and for all. It is a Kingdom that will be fully revealed at the end of time, after the destruction of every enemy and last of all, death (see 1 Cor 15: 25-26). The Son will then deliver the Kingdom to the Father and God will finally be ‘everything to everyone’ (1 Cor 15:28)”

As we await Jesus’ return, we can honor Him by living as His faithful disciples and putting Him first in our lives. We need to humbly acknowledge that Jesus is our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and King – – and show our love for Him by worshiping Him and doing His Will. Many Mexican martyrs died saying, “Viva Cristo Rey!” They knew who their true ruler was. Jesus rules with love, with mercy, with justice, with truth, wanting the salvation of every person. This day should make us rejoice because Jesus Christ our King loves us.

A Prayer to Christ the King

Christ Jesus, I acknowledge You King of the universe.
All that has been created has been made for You.
Make full use of Your rights over me.

I renew the promises I made in Baptism,
when I renounced Satan and all his pomps and works,
and I promise to live a good Christian life
and to do all in my power
to procure the triumph of the rights of God
and Your Church.

Divine Heart of Jesus,
I offer you my efforts
in order to obtain that all hearts
may acknowledge your Sacred Royalty,
and that thus the Kingdom of Your peace
may be established throughout the universe.

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Louise Merrie is a freelance writer on Catholic subjects. Her articles have been published in Catholic Life, Novena Magazine, and the Saint Austin Review. She is the founder of the Community of Mary, Mother of Mercy, an organization in which senior priests and Catholic laity support each other through prayer and friendship in living as disciples of Jesus.

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