Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King. As I’ve said in the past, this is a relatively new feast day in the Church, instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as a reaction against secularism and nationalism.
Leaving aside all the references to “king” and “kingdom” in the Bible – of which there are many – and all of the various descriptions of Christ as “king” in documents such as Quas Primas (which instituted the feast day), we are invited today to ask ourselves a simple question: Who rules my life?
I’m not a big fan of kingship imagery. Pictures of Jesus sitting on a big throne with a crown on his head and holding a scepter don’t do much for me.
But, I can, without any discomfort, ask myself: Who rules my life? To whom to I pledge my ultimate allegiance? To whom do I pledge my life?
The answer to that question (in whatever form it is asked) is clear: Jesus Christ.
For me, the celebration of Christ the King is an acknowledgement that – by my choice, and not by any physical or legal force – Christ rules my life. It is Christ to whom I pledge my life. It is Christ’s judgement of me counts in the final analysis – the one before whom I will have to stand and give an account of myself.
In truth, anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian ought to acknowledge that truth every day. But it is good to have a day on which we recommit ourselves as a community to the reality that it is Christ that rules our life.