Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

11-20-2022Weekly ReflectionFr Charlie Goraieb

Dear Friends,

Happy Feast of the Christ the King—the last Sunday of our Liturgical Year. Established in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, this feast is a relative newcomer to the Church calendar. It was designed to give special recognition to the dominion of Christ our Lord over all aspects of our lives during a tumultuous time in the Europe and the Church.

World War I had ended only a few years before, leaving much of the world in shambles. England and the countries of continental Europe had been devastated, the Bolsheviks had taken complete control in Russia, many governments were in economic chaos, unemployment was rampant and people in many places were literally starving to death. The pessimism and sense of hopelessness that had overcome many set the stage for the rise of fascism, National Socialism and Communism. In their distress, people clung to anyone who offered them hope.

Many considered the basics of morality and the teachings of the Church to be out of date, no longer relevant in 20th-century society. Some political regimes advocated the banishment of Jesus altogether, not only from society, but from the family as well. Pope Pius XI saw this and realized that he had to address the political and economic forces that were crowding out the kingship of Jesus. As a start, he dedicated his reign as pope to “The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ” (Pax Christi in Regno Christi ).

The year 1925 was a Jubilee Year for the Church, marking the 1600th anniversary of the Council of Nicea which defined the human and Divine natures of Jesus. On Dec 11 of the Jubilee Year, and in order to acknowledge perpetually the supremacy of Jesus Christ over all men, nations and earthly allegiances, the pope issued the encyclical Quas Primas, which added the feast of “Our Lord Jesus Christ the King” to the annual Church liturgical calendar. He underscored the great power and authority of the Great King. It is not the power of the rulers of this world; it is the Divine power to give eternal life, to liberate from evil, to defeat the dominion of death. It is the power of Love that can draw good from evil, that can melt a hardened heart, bring peace amid the harshest conflict and kindle hope in the thickest darkness. Only One Person can deliver those promises. 

There is also a Plenary indulgence connected with this feast. To earn it, we must recite together the “Most Sweet Jesus, Redeemer” prayer (which we will do at all of the Masses). In addition, you must pray for the Pope’s intentions, go to confession eight days before or afterwards and worthily receive Holy Communion on the Feast Day. Please take advantage of this great opportunity.

I pray that all of your will have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. A sample thanksgiving prayer you might use at your table can be found at: www.catholic.org/prayers.

A reminder to those who have not yet made your gift/pledge for the Adoration Chapel to please do so.

May God bless you and your family, Fr Charlie Goraieb