|Christ the King Altar, San Juan Bautista Church, Tabaco City, Albay|
MY REFLECTION ON THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
In the New Order of the Mass it has been customary to put this important solemnity on the last part of the liturgical calendar. In the Roman Catholic Church we demonstrate in our liturgy (the public worship of the church), the eschatological nature of the history of salvation. By words and actions through the sacraments we celebrate, we demonstrate the saving work of Christ in the Church and in the world. For Christ said when He ascended into the heavens, “I am with you always till the end of the ages.”
It is only proper and just that the end of the liturgical calendar should find the solemnity of Christ the King. The kingship of Christ is made manifest into two ways: (1) through our personal lives and ecclesiastical life on earth, as a pilgrim church, and (2) in the fulfilment of His promise that in the end He shall come again to judge the living and the dead, as judge and King, to reign forever in a world without end. I have observed that in our modern world there are two errors as far as the kingship of Christ is observed. The first one is the belief that the church should hold on to political power (triumphalism) and must control politics and civil government. Secondly there are also those who believe that Christian liberation involves the political struggle against the oppressor, against politics and a militant approach towards social injustice (liberation theology). Both of this are errors because they misunderstood the nature of Christ’s Kingship, much in the same ways that the Jews of Christ’s time misapprehended the messianic kingdom promised by the Scriptures. Both err in the sense that they saw this world as an end has failed to grasp the reality of this world being a transition period to the one which is eternal. St. Paul said we look for a kingdom not of this world, but a kingdom of righteousness and without end. It is a matter of faith that Christ will come again in glory. But even as we wait for that Kingdom to come we must renew the face of the earth. We should demonstrate that we are worthy inheritors of that eternal kingdom by being holy, living just lives and doing justice. This is what it means to be a Christian and to believe in the Kingship of Christ. Christ did not establish an earthly kingdom, but He will come again and establish an eternal kingdom. This is our hope and this is our expectation. That is why we cry to heaven, “maranatha”, Lord Jesus Come again in glory. For Christ now sits at the right hand of God, waiting for everything to be subdued under His feet. For when he ascended into heaven He brought with Him a train of captives. For now we can hope that we have a High Priest in the heavens, in the holy of holies, who in the last days will come again to be the King, let us lift our eyes unto heaven. But when the Son of Man shall come, will He find faith on the earth? Amen.