SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
On the last Sunday of each liturgical year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King. This solemnity was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925, in response to the then growing nationalism and secularism that sought to thrust Jesus Christ and religious spirituality out of public life. The Pope was alarmed by this trend, and saw in it, a big threat to human civilization and religious freedom.
Today, that same threat is very much alive. We can see it in the trending idea that religious spirituality is a private thing; that you can believe whatever you want when it comes to religion; but when it comes to everyday life, you need to conform to secularist orthodoxy. In other words, there is no conflict in serving both God and mammon—we can love Jesus in our private lives but we are not supposed to bring that witness into the social arena. Yet there is a way we can bring the kingship of Christ into the social arena— by witnessing its transformative power in my own life.
Many a time, we are tempted to think that making Christ, the King of our lives, somehow takes joy and fun out of living. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Scripture says that when we confess with our lips and know in our hearts that Christ is Lord and King, we come to experience the “glorious freedom of the children of God” (Ref Romans 8). In John 10:10, Christ says, “I have come that they may have life and have it in its fullness”. As St. Irenaeus puts it, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Yes, man fully alive is what God seeks for us, because God is not just interested in our spiritual activities and our spiritual self; He is interested in every aspect of our being—intellectual, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. That is to say, Christ wants to reign in our minds, in our wills, in our hearts, in our spirits, in our souls and in our bodies—so that every faculty in us can be transformed to function optimally as was purposed by the creator. Living a full life is not just about seeking out what I want for myself, but also seeking what I ought to be and what I ought to be doing.
So as we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King this year, let us ask ourselves some basic questions: what is life all about and what happens when I die? Who is my creator and how should I respond to Him? How would I make my time on this earth worth it?
It is my prayer that God will guide us in this reflection and bring us to answers that will lead us to eternal life.