Today, we celebrate Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the universe.
Father Bill shares an article written by Father Paul Turner,
pastor of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
in Kansas City, MO.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
By Fr. Paul Turner
Jesus Christ is king of all creation. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him (28:18). The Revelation of John calls him King of kings and Lord of lords (19:16). People wanted to make Jesus a king after he worked the miracle of the loaves, but he went away by himself instead (Jn 6:15). They wanted a secular king to govern their land. Jesus wanted to rule their hearts.
The Catholic Church celebrates the kingship of Christ on the last Sunday of the church year. The liturgical year reaches its climax in a celebration that honors the supreme command of Christ. He has dominion over all creation, and he rules every person who believes in him.
The feast of Christ the King entered the Catholic calendar in 1925, which Pope Pius XI had set aside as a holy year. Pius thought the feast would bring the year to a solemn close, help combat the forces of secularism, and remind the world that Christ is its ultimate ruler. The pope chose the last Sunday of October because of its proximity to the end of the liturgical year and to serve as a prelude to All Saints Day on Nov. 1. The same day was already being observed as Reformation Sunday in the Protestant traditions.
Pope Paul VI moved the observance from the end of October to the very last Sunday of the church year in order to exalt its theme even more. Now we end the year with an idea that sums up all that we have celebrated and that prepares us to start anew: this Jesus, whose birth we will soon celebrate, is the king of all creation.