Christ the King 26.10.14 Our response
This feast was established in 1925 to re-assert the authority of Christ on an increasingly complicated world.
Pope Pius XI was pointing out something that should have been obvious – that Christ is ruler of the world, transcending all national boundaries and cultures. If you are a human being you come under His authority.
It is His world; He made it; He keeps it in being. Many want it otherwise, but no one can escape His ultimate authority. At some point each person has to come to terms with Him, if only at the point of death and judgment.
With this being so, nations or states should obey the will of God in setting their laws, which should not go against the higher law of God. And the citizens of the world should see obedience to God as more imperative than obedience to the law of their land.
It is hard to get even one person to obey the law of God. It is harder by far when we are trying to organize millions. But it does help if we can see the whole picture.
This feast gives us a chance to recall the essential simplicity of choice that we have.
No matter what we call nations – be they republics, monarchies, colonies – or what we call their leaders – presidents, prime ministers, kings – when we get right down to it we have two choices.
Imagine going to vote and before you are just two choices – are you for Christ or against Him? Yes or No, Heaven or Hell. Do you accept or reject the King?
This is what it comes to, no matter what other structures are in place.
The authority of Christ is absolute but He prefers not to use force. He wants to draw people to Himself by love.
He is like the husband looking for his adulterous wife, as God looked for Israel (cf Hosea).
This is His preferred way of doing things. He could easily force our consent, and punish us if we refuse, but He wants to convince us to give our own consent to His plans.
With His help this is what we are doing. We vote for the King. We want things to happen exactly as He wants them (Thy will be done). May His kingdom come among us. May this world reflect as fully as possible the world of Heaven, where there is obedience to God, and love between neighbours.
God wants a covenant relationship with us, a peaceful kingdom where wolf and lamb are at peace (Is 11,6).
We are a long way from that. But in any case we know what we have to do. We identify with the King whether He is being crucified or exalted.
To cling to the truth, to hold to what is right, is not only the best, but the only thing to do.
Most people today reject the Kingship of Christ. Some would do this outright; others would do it indirectly by following the crowd, keeping up with the trends. It is easy to lose one’s faith if we do that.
Many even have the audacity to declare that God does not exist; that they can govern themselves. (If there is no god then humans are the highest intelligence around; and that is frightening!)
Pius XI probably did not achieve what he wanted but this feast has helped to give us a foundation to build on.
We go higher than elections and polls and go to where the truth is to be found; and also the grace to live that truth. There is great joy in such a life.
And we save as many as we can from falling in the pit - which is where people go when the blind lead the blind (Mt 15,14).
Long live, Christ the King!