S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Solemnity of Christ the King

Today, 20 November 2005, the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe.

The celebration of this Solemnity begun in the year 1925 by Pope Pius XI through the encyclical Quas Primas (11 December 1925). The Pope asked the Church to celebrate this Solemnity anually to protect the Church form too much secularism, a culture so rampant during those days when man and woman began to live their lives and structure their days as if God did not exist.

It is fitting and appropriate for us Roman Catholic Christians to reflect and meditate upon the relevance of this feast in our lives as followers of the Lord Jesus, as well as the strong message that this feast would impart to us, men and women of this present generation.

Our society today is very much beset by materialistic and secularistic cultures. A culture that gives much importance to accumulating wealth, power and honor. A culture that focuses much on earthly and temporal matters, leaving behind the care and concern for the soul.

This feast then encourages us to examine our very selves, our very lifestyles, our very views on life. Do we really give much attention to God's place in our lives? Do we recognize the fitting position that God must occupy in our hearts, in our families, in our world? Or do we just relegate God to the peripheries of our consciousness, being able to recognize His presence only during moments of grief and tribulations?

I believe it is very apt for us to pray over the importance of this feast in our lives as Christians. For us to go back to the basics of why we celebrate this feast. Perhaps it would be helpful if we recall the words of Pope Pius XI in his encyclical:

"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. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign 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.[35] If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection. It is Our fervent desire, Venerable Brethren, that those who are without the fold may seek after and accept the sweet yoke of Christ, and that we, who by the mercy of God are of the household of the faith, may bear that yoke, not as a burden but with joy, with love, with devotion; that having lived our lives in accordance with the laws of God's kingdom, we may receive full measure of good fruit, and counted by Christ good and faithful servants, we may be rendered partakers of eternal bliss and glory with him in his heavenly kingdom." (Quas Primas, 33)

To end, we must have the heart and soul to live out the ideals presented in the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King. We must allow Him to touch every aspect of our life -- personal, familial, and communal, for us to be truly worthy subjects of His Heavenly empire. That in the final analysis, we who celebrate this feast might be transformed to the Person that this feast celebrates: we may think as Christ our King thinks, and that we might love the way Christ our King loves.

This is the relevance and the richness of why we Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. May we become worthy subjects of Christ the King.


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