The Meaning of the Celebration
+ This feast was introduced by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in response to the rising nationalism, secularism, and new forms injustice that emerged in the years after the First World War.
+ In the encyclical Quas Primas, Pope Pius reminded Christians that the Kingdom to which they belong is ““spiritual and concerned with spiritual things… it demands of its subjects a spirit of detachment from riches and earthly things, and a spirit of gentleness. They must hunger and thirst after justice and more than this, they must deny themselves and carry the cross” (no 15).
+ The prayers and readings assigned for this solemnity present a rich and varied presentation of Christ the King, drawing on numerous images from Sacred Scripture.
+ Falling as it does (in the Ordinary Form of the Mass) on the final Sunday of the year, this solemn celebration focus our attention on the One who is the “goal of human history, the focal point of the desires of history and of civilization, the center of humankind, the joy of all hearts, and the fulfillment of all aspirations.” (Gaudium et spes, no. 45).
For prayer and reflection
“His kingship is paradoxical: his throne is the cross; his crown is made of thorns; he has no sceptre, but a reed is put into his hand; he does not have luxurious clothing, but is stripped of his tunic; he wears no shiny rings on his fingers, but his hands are pierced with nails; he has no treasure, but is sold for thirty pieces of silver..”—Pope Francis
Almighty ever-living God,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of the universe,
grant, we pray,
that the whole creation, set free from slavery,
may render your majesty service
and ceaselessly proclaim your praise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.