Catholic Corner
November 18, 2021

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King.  When we hear the word “king” we most often think pomp and privilege, power and wealth.  However, when we refer to Christ as King we are talking of a different kind of kingdom and hence a different kind of Kingship!

This Solemnity is relatively new in the Church calendar, being added in 1925 by Pope Pius XI.  In the face of the cultural excesses and rising nationalism of the 1920’s the Church sought to remind people of what seemed an upside-down world view, where the powerless were served first, the disenfranchised were embraced with dignity and respect, and where calling Christ the King meant a kingship of service to the least of our sisters and brothers.

The Kingdom envisioned here is eschatological, i.e. the Kingdom of God. It is a kingdom of truth, revealed by Jesus.  Through our baptism we have said yes to work for this truth.  Like Jesus, we are called to testify to the truth.  For us, that testimony is witnessed by the way we live our lives.  When we were baptized, we were anointed as “priest, prophet and king.”  Through the waters of baptism and by the power of the Spirit we are called to join in the mission of Christ.  We are called to speak and act a truth often difficult for the world to hear, a truth that runs counter to the values of the culture around us. In the Gospel of John that truth is simple, God is revealed in the person of Jesus. And through Jesus we understand God to be loving, merciful, compassionate and forgiving. If we hear that truth and respond, then as the baptized are called to live it out in a kingship of service.  We live out our baptismal commitment by serving as Christ did, giving ourselves away as he did to build this new Kingdom. The timing of this reminder seems very appropriate as we end the liturgical year this weekend and move into the Season of Advent, a season that focuses for the most part not on the first coming of Christ but on the second when the Kingdom reaches its fulfillment.