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Congregation for the Clergy: Why We Celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe

By Congregation for the Clergy
November 27th, 2012
Catholic Online (

The Solemnity was initiated so that all the sons of the Church would be instructed, and their faithfulness sustained, by Catholic realism that recognizes that the eternal Word of the Father is the foundation of all things. 

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - In communion with the entire Church on Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe.  Our Lord is King, He is, as we have just heard, "firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth." (Rev. 1:5) 

However, to understand this title, "King of the Universe", we have to almost "withhold" our modern sensibilities that are incapable of understanding how Christ can be a King and, secondly, how this Kingship extends not only to the Christian communities, but also to embrace the entire Universe! 

Let us start with Christ's Kingship.  On Sunday we celebrated the Feat of Christ the King.  One could ask the question, why?  The historical reason for this feast was born from secularization, that thought process that would like to see God "removed" from public thought and actions. 

In response to this tendency, Pope Pius XI , in 1925, instituted the Solemnity of Christ the King. 

The Solemnity was initiated so that all the sons of the Church would be instructed, and their faithfulness sustained, by Catholic realism that recognizes that the eternal Word of the Father is the foundation of all things.  

Almost one century later, following the diffusion of democracy as the principle form of Government in the West, could the title of Christ the King be somewhat obsolete?  Should we not attribute Christ with a role that is more fitting with our current political experience?

"You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth." (Jn 18:37)  Christ Himself, in the dialogue with the Roman procurator, likened Himself to the description of a King. 

However, without any doubt, this Kingship isn't reducible to any human power because He, Himself, affirmed: "My kingdom does not belong to this world." (Jn 18:36)  His Kingdom is of peace, justice and love.  Therefore, it is evident that, by looking at the history of modern times, His kingdom is not of this world!

Christ's Kingdom isn't comparable to any earthly reign.  His Kingship isn't here below, it is not of this world but is rooted in God's very being, in Heaven.  "Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him."  Moreover, this Kingship extends to the whole Universe!  Yes, Christ is the King of the entire universe. 

He is not only King of the visible Company of the Church. He is not only the King of those who believe in Him.  He is King of the Universe, heaven and earth, the cosmos, History and all those who knew and loved Him and also of those who crucified Him:  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, the one who is and who was and who is to come." 

How can we ask that Christ's kingship be spread to every man? After all, couldn't this thought be invasive of our free conscience?

No!  Christ's Kingship isn't simply a fact that must be recognized by the Church, but rather that belonging to the King is experienced in the Church.  It is here that we experience that belonging that is a communion of Life with Him rather than just being His People but part of His Mystical Body.  

Christ's Kingship comes from heaven, and therefore it is indestructible, because it doesn't derive its legitimacy from the precarious and changing human consensus. In fact, "all things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be." (Jn 1:3). 

However, despite being Royal, and in possession of certain "rights", as the Eternal Son of the Father, He states that he was born and came into the world, "to testify to the truth."  Christ was born of the Most Holy Mary, He shared our lives, our joys and sufferings, He appeared before Pilot only for this reason: to testify to the truth.

"What is Truth" (Jn 18:38)  Let us follow the gaze of Her who stood at the foot of the Cross, the gaze of Most Holy Mary.  The Truth that Christ, King of Martyrs, witnesses to is Himself!  He is the Truth and through Him all things were created.  He is the Truth and the place where it finds its consistency. 

Christ is the Truth that was seated on the Throne of the Cross, that refuge of splendour, to say to each of us, "I love you".  "I who am God, loves you because God is Love!"  Christ reigns in virtue of His Omnipotent and Eternal Love.  Christ, Eternal Love, Incarnate and Crucified, reigns on the Cross and opens His Side to us so that there we can find Liberty, Love and eternal Life.  Amen!

Citations of

Da 7,13-14:   
Rev. 1,5-8:
Jn 18,33-37:

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