Christ the King: A Feast Important Enough to Celebrate Twice!

Page from Latin Mass Missal. Christ holding the orb and scepter and wearing a crown.

Here’s a feast day so important, it’s worth celebrating twice!  The Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated in the Extraordinary Form (the Latin Mass) on the last Sunday of October, as it was throughout the Universal Church until Vatican II.  In the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) of the Mass, it is celebrated on the last Sunday before Advent.  There is a certain logic to the new date:  being reminded that Jesus Christ is Lord and King of the Universe just before the beginning of Advent is a kind of “reset button” that reminds us of just Who it is which we will be celebrating in four short weeks.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote the following concerning the feast:

Page from Latin Mass Missal. Christ holding the orb and scepter and wearing a crown.

The Feast of the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ – excerpt from the 1962 Roman Missal.

“Jesus of Nazareth…is so intrinsically king that the title ‘King’ has actually become His name.  By calling ourselves Christians, we label ourselves as followers of the king…God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom.  The kingdom was a result of Israel’s rebellion against God…the law was to be Israel’s king, and, through the law, God Himself.  God yielded to Israel’s obstinacy and so devised a new kind of kingship for them.  The king is Jesus; in Him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself.  This is the usual form of the divine activity in relation to mankind.  God does not have a fixed plan that He must carry out; on the contrary, He has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wring ways into right ways…the Feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the One who writes straight on crooked lines.”

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