The Solemnity of Christ the King holds profound significance in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church, serving as a majestic conclusion to the liturgical year as it is set on the last Sunday before Advent. Pope Pius XI instituted it in 1925 through his encyclical Quas Primas, and it is a feast that celebrates the universal sovereignty of Jesus Christ.
This solemnity serves as a reminder that, amidst the world’s challenges, Christ’s reign endures, which provides hope and inspiration for Catholics to work towards building a society rooted in the principles of the Gospel.
Where is it in Scripture?
There are many places in Scripture where Christ is referred to as King; here are a few of them:
1. Matthew 21:5 says, “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey'”
2. Revelation 17:14 says, “For he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
3. Revelation 19:16 says, “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
4. John 18:36 says, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
Christ is King, and His Kingdom is not of this world, it is an everlasting one! When Pope Pius XI wrote the encyclical letter to establish the feast day, he talked about many ways to let Christ reign within ourselves. As Quas Primas (33) states, Christ “must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.”
Here is the Collect of the Day that the church prays on this day!
Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.