From the Pastor’s Desk: November 23, 2014
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe is the culmination of the Church’s entire liturgical year. Today we celebrate Christ who is truly King and Lord of the universe and now reigns in all His glory in Heaven.
Today’s feast was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, at the request of many bishops and faithful from around the world. There was a strong denial of faith influenced by the rise of materialistic secularism and militant atheism that was trying to repress belief in Christ and suppress Christian presence in the world. Bolshevik communism began to show its evil head, as they tried to perfect the art of lying, with its manifesto to claim to be working to “free” people from the “opium” of belief in God, which they said was only a means used by others to keep them subjected. Since there really was no god, they stated, the churches and Christians were just seeking greater foundation for their pursuit of political power. As a consequence of such situations during a time when respect for Christ and His Church was waning, people were more and more attracted to materialistic and secular solutions to the world's problems that, in many cases, led to less-than- Christian and less-than-human solutions: World War I, Communism, the embellishment of Hitler. The Church, to counteract these lies and proclaim both the fact of Christ’s Kingship in the Universe and the true spiritual aims of that Kingdom, proclaimed today’s feast.
Pope Pius XI hoped that the institution of the feast would teach and help the world to understand:
1. That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state.
2. That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ and to His way of life.
3. That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, by being reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies.
4. Christ the King reminds us that if we want a world that is prosperous and at peace, then Jesus in His Church must have the freedom to teach and live as Christ would have us live… with His peace, joy, love, and forgiveness.