Christ the King

Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, November 26, 2017

FEAST OF JESUS CHRIST, THE KING

The Feast of Christ the King was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Its institution was necessitated by the struggle against the rising secularism of that era convincing people to deny the belief in Jesus Christ as King. Many Christians, even Catholics, doubted Christ's authority and existence not sparing as well that of the Church. Pope Pius XI, and the rest of the Christian world, witnessed the rise of dictatorship in Europe, and saw Catholics being taken in by these earthly leaders. For this reason, he defined the Catholic Church’s stance against this formidable challenge in his encyclical Quas Primas and had hoped to achieve the following effects: 1. That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Q. P. 32). 2. That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Q. P. 31). 3. That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (Q. P. 33).

Just as the Feast of Corpus Christi was instituted when devotion to the Eucharist was at a low point, the Feast of Christ the King was instituted during a time when respect for Christ and the Church was waning, when the feast was most needed. In fact, it is still needed today, as these problems have not vanished, but instead have worsened.

The idea of Christ as ruler is rejected in such a strongly individualistic system. Some even reject the titles of "lord" and "king" for Christ because they believe that such titles are borrowed from oppressive systems of government. However true these statements might be (some kings have been oppressive), these individuals miss the point: Christ's kingship is one of humility and service.

God Bless you! Fr. Elmer Mandac