Christ the King
a Reflection by Fred Schaeffer, OFS
When the Liturgical Season comes to an end, we celebrate Christ the King on the last Sunday. The following Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent. Time flies by! The celebration of Christ the King was begun by Pope Pius XI in 1925, to give emphasis to Our Lord in a time of great indifference. Not unlike the times we are in today. How many have forgotten Our Lord ... a friend of mine told me of a conversation about Holy Mass, and quoted someone in Europe asking if Masses are still being said ... hard to believe that such a question would be asked at all. Mass attendance in Europe is way down.
If only people who have stopped going would come to Church on Christ the King Sunday, to listen to a good homily ... a good homily? Yes, there are good homilies, provided people will open their ears and listen. But many people tune out when the homily begins. Not every priest can preach like Bishop Fulton Sheen, but many do very well indeed and they really try. And, I hasten to say that there are many Deacons who preach very well, too. Hopefully not everyone is asleep during the homily, a condition that befalls me every so often. I am not a morning person, and since I sing in the choir, I must go to that early Mass. Christ, our King and Savior reigns over all of us, even those whose Faith is no longer as fervent as it used to be.
What is “The kingdom of God?” That phrase appears in the Gospels many times, but there is no easy answer. Generally one can define this Kingdom as the Rule of God in our hearts. Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God belongs to the humble, and that it will grow. We can ask that the Father make this kingdom present within us. It is a treasure, we need to search for, and when we find this kingdom we must guard it and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. This kingdom is universal, as all are invited to participate.
"My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world" (Jn 18:36).
From: Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the Feast of Christ the King (Vatican)
"7. It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of "King," because of the high degree of perfection whereby he excels all creatures. So he is said to reign "in the hearts of men," both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his "charity which exceedeth all knowledge." And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ. But if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father "power and glory and a kingdom," since the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created."
I pray that all men and women of good will, will seek the Kingdom of God in their beings, by trying to obey this Rule of God (i.e. the Ten Commandments), and follow Jesus, our Savior and King.
Peace and all Good,
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Nov. 19, 2010, 2018
Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis
Divine Mercy Fraternity
Vero Beach, FL
Officers as of 1/10/2016
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Jack Reddy, OFS
Donna Haro, OFS
Joanne Giordano, OFS
Fred Schaeffer, OFS