Hoping to celebrate the lordship of Christ in a world of increasingly secular and non-Christian empires, Pope Pius XI inaugurated in 1925 a Sunday dedicated to Christ as King. The scriptures chosen for today particularly resonate with our belief that Christ is King, though his reign is admittedly unlike any we have ever known and sometimes unlike what we might secretly hope! Christians often interpret the passage from Jeremiah as a description of Jesus Christ, who reigns wisely and executes justice. The reading from Colossians is most appropriate to celebrate the sovereign Christ: all other thrones or rulers were created through his power and for him alone. The Gospel passage from Luke is particularly appropriate for the celebration of the reign of Christ. The Roman authorities claim that they have executed the purported king of the Jews, and yet the thief asks Jesus for entrance into his kingdom. Christ is an unlikely king for he reigns from the cross, forgiving our sins.
This week as we celebrate this final Sunday in the church year, we proclaim, “Christ is King!”
Image: Jesus Christ embracing a person by Lubo Michalko. Relief sculpture with modeling clay. Displayed in the Quo Vadis Catholic House, Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo copyright © Adam Ján Figel/Alamy Stock Photo. Used by permission.