Read the story of the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe

The Solemnity ofChrist King, which marks the end of the liturgical year, in the Church catholic, in Church Lutheran and in other Christian denominations, indicates a particular memory of Jesus Christ seen as King of the whole universe.

With it we would like to underline that the figure of Christ for Catholics he represents the Lord of history and time.

This feast was introduced by Pope Pius XI, with the encyclical "Almost before” (“On the Kingship of Christ”) of December 11, 1925.

The Pope says in the Encyclical: «And for the desired fruits to be more abundant and to last more stably in human society, it is necessary that knowledge of the royal dignity of our Lord be disseminated as much as possible. To which purpose it seems to us that nothing else can be more beneficial than the institution of a particular and proper feast Christ King."

In the ordinary form of the Roman rite the feast coincides with the last Sunday of the liturgical year while in the extraordinary form the feast coincides with the last Sunday of October.

Even in the Ambrosian rite, the solemnity of Christ Re corresponds to the last Sunday of the liturgical year, but – since the Ambrosian Advent, with which the liturgical year begins, is two weeks longer than the Roman Advent – ​​it is placed at the beginning and not at the end of November.

The title of "Christ King” originates from some biblical passages: in the New Testament Jesus It is toldKing (βασιλεύς, basilèus), King of the Jews (βασιλεύς τῶν Ἰουδαίων, basilèus ton Iudàion), King of Israel (βασιλεύς Ἰσραήλ, basilèus Israèl), King of kings (βασιλε ύς βασιλέων, basilèus basilèon) for a total of 35 times, above all in tales of passion, e Son of David (υἱός Δαυὶδ, uiòs Davìd) 12 more times.

Solemnity of Christ the King
Jesus the Christ

In 325 the first Ecumenical Council was held in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor. In this circumstance the divinity of is defined Christ against the heresies of Arius: “Christ is God, light from light, God true from God True". 1600 years later, in 1925, Pius XI proclaimed that the best way to overcome injustices was the recognition of the kingship of Christ.

“Poiché le feste – scrive – hanno una efficacia maggiore di qualsiasi documento del magistero ecclesiastico, esse infatti istruiscono tutti i fedeli e non una sola volta ma annualmente, e raggiungono non solo lo spirito ma i cuori” (Enciclica Quas primas, 11 dicembre 1925).

The original date was the last Sunday in October, i.e. the Sunday preceding the feast of all saints" (cf. EncyclicalQuas Primas), but with the new reform of 1969 it was moved to the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, making it clear that Jesus Christ, the King, is the goal of our earthly pilgrimage. The biblical texts change in all three years, and this allows us to fully grasp the figure of Jesus.

At that time, Pilate said to Jesus: "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus he replied: “Do you say this yourself, or have others told you about me?”. Pilate said: “Am I a Jew? Your people and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?".

He answered Jesus: “My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have fought to keep me from being handed over to the Jews; but my kingdom is not from below.” So Pilate said to him: "So you are a king?" He replied Jesus: “You say it: I am king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world: to bear witness to the truth. Whoever is from the truth, hear my voice"(Jn 18,33b-37).

Last stop

Today we celebrate the last Sunday of the liturgical year, called the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, re dell’universo.

This goal was indicated to us on the first Sunday of Advent and today we arrive there; and given that the liturgical year represents our life in miniature, this experience reminds us, and even before that educates us, to the fact that we are on the way towards an encounter with Jesus, Sposo, quando Egli verrà quale Re e Signore della vita e della storia.

Stiamo parlando della sua seconda venuta. La prima è nell’umiltà di un Bimbo deposto in una mangiatoia (Lc 2,7); la seconda è quando tornerà nella gloria, alla fine della storia, venuta che oggi celebriamo liturgicamente.

But there is also an intermediate coming, the one we are experiencing today, in which Jesus he presents himself to us in the Grace of his Sacraments and in the face of every "little one" of the Gospel (see "Unless you become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven...Mt 18:2; when we are Jesus nel volto dei fratelli e delle sorelle, il tempo in cui siamo invitati a trafficare i talenti ricevuti, ad assumerci ogni giorno le nostre responsabilità).

And along this path, the liturgy offers itself to us as a school of life to educate us to recognize the Lord present in daily life and prepare us for his last coming.

A party that reveals the way

The liturgical year is the symbol of our life's journey: it has its beginning and its end, in the encounter with the Lord Jesus, Re e Signore, nel regno dei Cieli, quando vi entreremo attraverso la porta stretta di “sorella morte” (san Francesco).

Ebbene, all’inizio dell’anno liturgico (la I domenica di Avvento), ci è stata mostrata in anticipo la Meta verso cui avremmo mosso i nostri passi. Come se in vista di un esame ci fossero state date, un anno prima, le risposte alle domande!

This was going to be a rigged exam; in the liturgy, however, this is a gift of Jesus, Master, because it allows us to know which path to take (Jesus, away), which thought to follow (Jesus, Truth), by what hope let us be animated (Jesus, Life, cf. Jn 14:6).

The joy of a dream

In the first reading, taken from the book of the prophet Daniel (7,13-14), we speak of the vision of Son dell’uomo, il quale alla fine prenderà il posto di quanti lungo la storia si sono serviti del popolo anziché servirlo.

In this view, therefore, it is clear that there is a term for those who usurp the people and exploit them. The day will come when a just and merciful "King" will take over the reins of the history of peoples.

The expected King

In this frame of hope, we can thus read the text of the Gospel that the liturgy presents to us, in the dialogue between Pilate and Jesus.

Jesus he presents himself as King, but his Kingdom is not from here below. Indeed Jesus does not try to survive, considering his life superior to the mission received from Father: He is simply King and came into the world - says the text - to show his royalty, which consists in bearing witness to the Father.

A life in the service of Father, Truth of life.

Royalty and truth

Il tema della “verità”, che tanto affascinerà Pilato ma non a tal punto da fermare l’esecuzione, chiede un’adesione: “Chiunque è dalla verità, ascolta la mia voce”.

E qui Pilato si fermerà, incapace di abbracciare la verità perché manipolato dai desideri della folla, verso la quale deve comunque pagare il prezzo politico.

In this choice of his, Pilate demonstrates what he really is and what he really lets himself be guided by, while Jesus manifest until the end to Whom it belongs and Whom it serves so much as to be able to say: "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life" (Jn 14:6).

Truth and lie

La solennità odierna non solo porta allo scoperto chi è Pilato, ma si offre a ciascuno di noi per capire chi realmente stiamo servendo.

Al termine di questo anno liturgico diventa importante capire verso chi o cosa va il nostro cuore, perché dov’è il nostro tesoro, lì sarà anche il nostro cuore (Lc 12,34). Una domanda che può aiutarci a rimettere ordine nella nostra vita e nei nostri affetti, affinché non si vada dove va il cuore, ma si porti il cuore dove veramente deve andare.

But this asks you to accept that it is Jesus our King, the One who alone truly serves the truth of our life.

sources © e Vatican News

Last Updated: May 23, 2023 18:59 by Remigio Ruberto

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Ciao, sono Remigio Ruberto, papà di Eugenio. L'amore che mi lega a Eugenio è senza tempo e senza spazio.

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