Traditional Catholic Understanding of Christ the King # 1

It is with such joy that we traditional Catholics understand the role of Jesus Christ the King in the Church and Society.  Just knowing that we have such a powerful, loving and just King, brings us great joy and security.  Vive Christus Rex!

images 7The last Sunday of October is the Feast of Christ the King in the traditional calendar.  With the Summorum Pontificum we can now also follow the Catholic calendar that had been used for liturgical celebrations all over the world for centuries.  It is placed at this time of the liturgical year because, as Jesus preached, “the Kingdom of God is now at hand” and in relationship with the feast day of All Saints (November 1st.) who are already experiencing this kingdom in heaven.

The New Testament shows Jesus’ genealogy through the royal tribe of Judah, and King David.  But the temporal kingdoms of David and Solomon were only prefigurations of the Jesus’ eternal kingdom.

images 3St. Robert Bellarmine shows that the church fathers taught that when the Angel Gabriel says: “The Lord will give Him the throne of David His Father.” means a spiritual and eternal kingdom, and not the temporal or carnal kingdom of King David so that Jesus might reign “over the house of Jacob forever”.

At the time of Jesus the Israelites had lost their early power to the Romans.  The Father sent and Jesus Christ to be their messiah and king in a spiritual way.  But most of them were looking for a worldly king and therefore rejected Him.  The Jews are still looking for a worldly messiah.  That is why they lay up all their treasures (jewels or money) in this life and forget about storing up treasures in heaven.  (The word jewelry comes from the word Jew.)

caravaggio_flagellationofchrist.thisoneJesus’ power comes from His Father who anointed Him messiah and not from conquest of territory or being chosen by the people to be their king. For this reason we always see Jesus always fleeing from the crowds who want to make them their messiah and king.  Their small minded concept of a temporal king had to be rejected because His kingship is forever and will endure long after this world no longer exist.  (“for the former things are pass away” (Apocalypse) “and we look for new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13).

So when in the Gospel of St. John on the Feast of Christ the King, Jesus says to Pontius Pilate : “My kingdom is not of this world”, He meant that His kingdom had nothing to do with worldly honors, wealth and power.  He already rejected that kingship when the devil offered all this to Him, if only he would adore him.  His kingship comes from above, from His divinity that is hidden in His humble humanity.

images-8 2Jesus’ spiritual kingship is over the devil too.  “Now will the prince (royal) of this world  be cast out.”  John 12: 31.  And “Thus did God disarm the principalities and powers.  He made a public show of them, leading them off captive, triumphed in the person of Christ.” Col. 2: 15.  “For this the Son of God appeared that He might undo the works of the devil.” 1 John, 3: 8.  His kingship liberates us from the prince of darkness (the devil) and restores us as sons of God.

Jesus Christ came to save us and redeem us.  Temporal power is superfluous for His mission.  He came “to serve and not to be served”, judged and not to judge.  “Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in the houses of kings.” Matt. 11: 8.  No He was not to be found in a palace but was born a king in an animal’s pen.

But His Father honors Him with the royal star and through foreign kings who give Him royal gold.  The Jewish king Herod, who should have recognize him, attempts to destroy Him.

ST.JohnThis Divine King was condemned for the crime of “claiming to be King of the Jews” as was evident by what was written on His cross.  He was born a king, crowned a king (crown of thorns) and died a king.

If Jesus had started a temporal kingdom in Israel, after His ascension into heaven, it would have had to last.  But as we know, many countries have overrun and ruled over Israel since the time of Christ.

At the end of time, (and I hope it is soon), Christ will come in all His Divine Glory and power, surrounded by His angels.  No longer will men be able to mock Him and disobey Him.  All will be subject to Him.  Those who have obeyed His Catholic Church’s teachings, shown love and helped the poor will rule with Him forever.  Those who have obeyed their own pleasure seeking passions and not shown charity will have the devil as their prince forever.

Let us love, obey and adore Our King, Jesus.  He will in turn, save us from the devil, eternal damnation and protect us in every way.  Thank You Jesus Our King.

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