The Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING. Today’s celebration was instituted by Pope Pius XI instituted in 1925, to be celebrated throughout the universal church, in his letter Quas Primas. He connected the increasing denial of Christ as king to the rise of secularism throughout much of Europe. At the time, many Christians (including Catholics) began to doubt Christ’s authority and existence, as well as the Church’s power to continue Christ’s authority. Pius XI, and the rest of the Christian world, witnessed the rise of non-Christian (or nominally Christian) dictatorships throughout Europe, and saw Catholics being persuaded by these earthly leaders. These dictators also often attempted to assert authority over the Church.
Today’s feast reminds us that Christ’s kingship is one of humility and service. Jesus said: You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to become great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:42-45). May Christ the King continue to rule our hearts and our lives.