The Church’s year concludes this weekend with our Solemnity dedicated to Christ the King. This celebration was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925, who was at that time concerned about increasing secularism and increasing pagan idols such as fame and money. He believed that attempts to thrust Jesus Christ and his law out of public life would lead to continuing discord between people and nations. Pope Pius placed the whole world under the reign of Jesus as Lord because Christ is the source of all truth, which ought to be received by all creation. The 20th century did indeed see the rise of atheistic regimes as Pope Pius foresaw, but the growth in secularism continues unabated in our own day, even in countries which have strong Christian roots and institutions. We need to be alert to the undermining of our freedoms of religious expression at home and the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in many countries of the world.
We are called to follow Christ’s example by building his kingdom in love. Jesus came as a servant and showed us that his kingdom was built by placing the needs of others first, living in humility and seeking to forgive others. Jesus’ kingdom is one of justice, love and peace. Any earthly kingdom should place these as its guiding principles and any Christian should work to uphold these values in their own societies. As we celebrate the dedication the whole world to our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that his kingdom of love will truly dwell in our hearts.
“Jesus is the centre of creation; and so the attitude demanded of us as true believers is that of recognizing and accepting in our lives the centrality of Jesus Christ, in our thoughts, in our words and in our works.” (Pope Francis)