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Christ The King C


cappie

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In 1925, as the world was being gripped by nationalist, secularist, anti-Semitic, authoritarian, fascist dictators, Pope Pius XI instituted Christ the King Sunday to refocus us on why we are here – to be icons of God’s love in this world. Originally set as the last Sunday of October, Pope Paul VI moved it to the Last Sunday before Advent and called it, “The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.”

We look at him today, as he hangs on a cross, condemned by the authoritarian regime of Caesar, still offering God’s love and compassion to another so condemned. Mocked by the empire as a so-called king, Jesus exhibits the characteristics of a true king anointed by God. When asked by another so condemned, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43).

Writing in the aftermath of World War I, Pius  noted “Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one’s life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example.” Pius XI wanted this feast to inspire the laity, saying, “The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal… He must reign in our minds… in our wills… in our hearts… in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.”

Given the state of the world today, it still seems like a justifiable feast to observe and to ponder just what sort of king Jesus is – “is” being the operant word as the Christ was, is, and ever shall be. 

Jesus was born in an obscure Middle Eastern town called Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago. During his first 30 years, he shared the daily life and work of an ordinary home. For the next three years, he went about teaching people about God and healing sick people by the shores of Lake Galilee. He called 12 ordinary men to be his helpers.

 “Today, nearly 2 billion people throughout the world worship Jesus , in the person of Jesus, we discover God as Son; and in our daily lives, we encounter this same God as Spirit.  

Jesus taught us to trust in a loving and merciful Father and to pray to him in faith for all our needs. He taught that we are all precious, children of one heavenly Father, and that we should therefore treat one another with love, respect, and forgiveness. He lived out what he taught by caring for those he met; by healing the sick – a sign of God’s love at work; and by forgiving those who put him to death.

  People believed, and do to this day, that he can lead us to a full experience of God’s love and compassion. Above all, he pointed to his death as God’s appointed means of bringing self-centred people back to God. Jesus also foretold that he would be raised to life again three days after his death. When, three days after he had died on the cross, his followers did indeed meet him alive again; frightened and defeated women and men became fearless and joyful messengers.

Their message of the Good News about Jesus is the reason  why all over the world there are Christians who know what it means to meet the living Jesus, and believe that He can lead us all to heal and repair a broken world.  

This is why the Church is here at all: to follow Jesus; to heal, gather, repair, restore, and unite everyone and everything. To be a blessing to all the earth, and everything therein.

 

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