Saturday, November 22, 2014

Solemnity of Christ the King: "he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father when he has destroyed every sovereignty"

Archbishop Lori, in his remarks to our bishops gathered in Baltimore for their annual meeting this Fall, pointed out that the solemnity of Christ the King, which our Church celebrates on the last Sunday of October pre-1962 and this weekend in the ordinary form, originated in the struggles of the Church under totalitarianism in the 19th century, only about 70 years ago, and for that reason is very appropriate in our own day when our religious freedom is under attack.

Our bishops have been engaged for some time now in the fight for religious freedom on sveral fronts. The HHS mandate and the redefinition of marriage with attendant efforts to attack businesses and individuals who refuse to obey this legal perversion are just two of the effects of a general rejection of our right to declare Christ our King in action as well as in our beliefs.

The social kingship of Christ is non-negotiable. Our right to live our faith as witnesses in every aspect of our existence is not simply an adjunct to believing but is constitutive of believing itself. Christ is the King of the Universe precisely because He rose as God in our human flesh from the dead, establishing His absolute Lordship, which phrase is a redundancy made necessary by the lack of understanding so common today in regard to what this term means precisely.

"Lord" is title without qualification, denoting the one who demands our total fealty, allegiance, obedience and love without rival. Saint Paul used this term to describe Christ precisely because it was so well known in the Roman world to mean the complete obedience to Caesar and therefore served as an insulting provocation when used by the early Christians.

Efforts to secure and defend our religious liberty are essential because we cannot "be" Catholic without at the same time "doing" Catholic. Our proclamation of the Gospel to all of society is our mission as servants of the Kingdom of God.

Christ describes His kingship in the Gospel proclaimed at our Masses this weekend for this Solemnity:

"he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"

His kingship includes His role as judge. May we be blessed to live in love and obedience to Him in His kingdom now so as to reign with Him forever in heaven.

Christ conquers, Christ rules, Christ reigns.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat.

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