Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King
Presence of God— O Jesus, Prince of Ages, King of Nations, be the sole Ruler of my mind and heart.
The liturgy today is truly a triumphant hymn celebrating the Kingship of Christ. From the First Vespers of the Feast, the figure of Jesus is majestically portrayed, seated on a royal throne and dominating the entire world; “His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all kings shall serve and obey Him…. He shall sit and rule and shall speak peace unto the nations.”
The Mass opens with the apocalyptic vision of this extraordinary King whose majesty is intimately linked to His immolation for the salvation of souls…. “The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor. To Him belong glory and power forever and ever” (Introit).
In the Epistle (Colossians 1:12-20) St. Paul enumerates the titles which make [Jesus Christ the King] of all kings: He is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for in Him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.” These titles belong to Jesus Christ inasmuch as He is God, perfect image of the Father, exemplary cause of all earthly and heavenly creatures and, at the same time, Creator, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, of all that exists, for nothing has existence without Him, but “all things were created by Him and in Him … by Him all things consist.”
Then come His titles to Kingship as Man: “He is the Head of the Mystical Body, the Church…. Through Him [God] … reconciled all things unto Himself, making peace through the Blood of His Cross.” He, who is already our King by reason of His divinity, is also King through His Incarnation, which has constituted Him the Head of all humanity, and through His Passion, by which at the price of His Blood He has regained our souls, which already belonged to Him as His creatures.
Jesus is our King in the full sense of the word: He has created us, redeemed us, vivified us by His grace, He nourishes us with His Flesh and Blood, He governs us with love, and by love He draws us to Himself. In the face of such considerations, the cry of St. Paul rises spontaneously from our heart: “Giving thanks to God the Father … who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption … the remission of sins.”
“You, my God, are an eternal King, and Yours is no borrowed kingdom…. When the Credo says: ‘of Your Kingdom there shall be no end’ this phrase nearly always makes me feel particularly happy. Yes, I praise You, Lord, and bless You, for Your Kingdom will endure forever” (Teresa of Jesus Way of Perfection 22).
“O divine King, most amiable Jesus, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Spouse, my Master and model, I renew today the total consecration of my being to You, begging You to take absolute dominion over me. Be my Sovereign, my Ruler, my Guide. Direct and govern me entirely, so that everything may turn to Your greater glory. Be King of my memory, of my intellect, of my will, of my emotions; I wish all to be completely subject to You and I invite You to reign in me.
“Your Kingdom is a kingdom of Truth, of Love, of Justice and of Peace.
“Grant that Your reign of Truth may be established in my mind, destroying all error, deceit, and illusion. Enlighten me by Your divine Wisdom.
“Grant that Your reign of Love may be completely established in my will, to move it, draw it, and direct it always, so that I may no longer be moved by self-love, or by creatures but by Your Holy Spirit alone. Make this weak, mean, rebellious will of mine strong, generous, constant; make it grow stronger by the persevering exercise of virtue, and by the gifts of Your Spirit.
“Grant that Your reign of Justice may be established in all my actions, so that all I do, having this characteristic, may be a work of holiness, accomplished with purity of intention and with the greatest fidelity in order to give You pleasure and accomplish Your holy will.
“Grant that Your reign of Peace may be established, not only in my soul but also in my sensibility, so that, in harmony with the superior part of my soul, it may give You glory and neither retard me nor be an obstacle to union with You” (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.).
Note from Dan: This post on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King: Stained glass window at the Melkite Catholic Annunciation Cathedral in Roslindale [Boston, Massachusetts] depicting Christ the King with the regalia of a Byzantine emperor, photgraphed by John Stephen Dwyer, January 25, 2009, CCA-SA 3.0 UnportedFather Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.