The Kingship of Christ

The feast of Christ the king was instituted by Pope Pius XI on December 11th 1925. Of all the feasts celebrated in honor of Our Divine Lord it is indeed one of the more recent yet its history is most ancient in Christian memory.

The concept of Christ as King who sits now at the right hand of God in glory as recalled in the Nicene Creed, is one that permeates the entire Catholic Liturgy both East and West. Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the very knowledge and infinite wisdom of God the father, the Divine Logos will return at the end of time in power, majesty and glory to judge all mankind, all those born from the beginning of time until the last days of the world.

However the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world, as expressly stated by the founder of Christianity, yet it is in this world and must continue to grow and develop in accordance with the command of Christ to teach all men and lead them to the truth that sets men free, “ Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”matt.28

Splendid eplanation

Pope Pius XI offers a splendid explanation of the doctrine concerning the kingship of Christ for it is only under the dominion of Christ that all things can ultimately be restored and subjected to the Divine will, that peace among men, sanity and order can be regained in a world that has lost its balance and sense of direction, a world akin to a rudderless boat and heading towards the rapids. As is announced in the preface of the Mass of the Feast Christ’s kingdom is one of truth, life, of holiness and of grace of, justice, love. There is nothing else so necessary for our time than the promotion of this feast, no other apostolic labour so pressing in its urgency.

On account of his immense perfection

The metaphorical title of king, however disagreeable and perhaps displeasing it may be to some overly sensitive democratic ears, is bestowed upon Jesus Christ on account of that immense perfection whereby he surpasses all creatures. He is said to reign ‘in the hearts of men’ by reason of the sharpness of his intellect, and the immensity of his knowledge because he is Truth itself. It is vital that this truth be obediently received by all mankind as coming from the hands of God in and through Christ.

He reigns also in the wills of men for in Him the human will was in perfect submission and total obedience to the Holy Will of His Eternal father; further more by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our individual free will as to encourage us to the noblest self-sacrificing deeds in his service.

By reason of his charity

The Sacred Scriptures are eloquent in their description and depiction of Christ as Our king. He is king of the human heart by reason of his charity which exceeds all knowledge. Never has man been so loved by God as in Jesus Christ. Pope Pius XI goes on to state in his encyclical letter that the title and power of king emphatically belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense also. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father ‘power and glory and a kingdom’ Dan. Vii, 13-14. Since the Word of God as consubstantial with the Father has everything in common with him, therefore he has necessarily supreme and absolute sovereignty over all created reality.

No nation, no country, no society, no individual however exalted in the eyes of man, has the right to withdraw or sidestep the authority and wisdom of God in His Christ, true God and true man. Saint Cyril of Alexandria writes “Christ has dominion over all creatures, not seized by violence nor usurped but by his essence and by nature’

Grounded in the supernatural reality

His kingdom is grounded in the supernatural reality and efficacy of the hypostatic union that in Christ one person subsists in two natures, the Divine and the human. It follows that not only is Christ to be revered by angels and men but that angels and men are subject to him and must recognize his kingdom. Christ is our king by acquired and natural right for he is our Redeemer; we have been purchased, ransomed not with corruptible things but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled.
We no longer belong to ourselves for we have been bought back with a great price. Our very bodies now are the ‘members of Christ’

Private and public recognition

It is through recognition, both in private and in public, and acceptance of the kingdom of Christ that society will receive the promised blessings of true liberty, well ordered discipline, peace and harmony.

No matter how arduous the task to promote and spread the reign of Christ in our apostate times---a task belonging to all within the confines of our duty of state—it is not an impossible ideal, a utopian mirage, for God is with us if we still have the Faith and exercise the virtue of Christian hope. Christ is still and will be for all time the Truth, the Way and the Life, the only hope and way forward for mankind and of his Kingdom there shall be no end.