Then the King Will Say ... (Matthew 25:34)

Dear Parishioners & Visitors,

Today we celebrate with the Church the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Pope Pius XI instituted this solemnity on December 11, 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas. The institution of this feast day to celebrate the kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the fruit of the Jubilee year in which Pope Pius XI asked the faithful to pray for peace among peoples. This request from the Pope came at a time of political and social unrest among nations. During that year, the faithful had more than one opportunity to enhance the glory of the Kingdom of Christ. - Quas primas, 6

In his encyclical, pope Pius XI begins with the scriptural foundation of this celebration:

"Do we not read throughout the Scriptures that Christ is the King? He it is that shall come out of Jacob to rule, (Numbers 24:19) who has been set by the Father as king over Sion, his holy mount, and shall have the Gentiles for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession. (Psalm 2) In the nuptial hymn, where the future King of Israel is hailed as a most rich and powerful monarch, we read: 'Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a scepter of righteousness.' (Psalm 44) There are many similar passages, but there is one in which Christ is even more clearly indicated. Here it is foretold that his kingdom will have no limits, and will be enriched with justice and peace: 'in his days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace ... And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth."' (Psalm 71)

- Quas Primas, 8

The constant affirmation through the Scriptures is that only when Christ has full authority in our lives, true peace flourishes. It is the peace that comes precisely from obeying the voice of Christ in the Gospel:

"Then the King will say ... 
Come, you who are blessed by my Father. 
lnherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, 
I was thirsty and you gave me drink, 
a stranger and you welcomed me, 
naked and you clothed me, 
ill and you cared for me, 
in prison and you visited me."

- Matthew 25: 34-36

-fr. Jorge Rátiva, O.P.