The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe


Today is the very last Sunday in our liturgical calendar, and the Church has saved this day to honor the most important person in our lives: Jesus.

Today the Church celebrates The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!

The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe celebrates the fact that there is one who is remarkably different. He came to serve all, even His enemies. He truly was a Son of Man, with a vulnerable human nature. But He was also truly Son of God.

Not in some mythological sense, like the Pharaohs, or the wishful -thinking sense, like the Caesars, but really and truly, the Immortal, the Eternal, taking the form of a mortal man in a specific time in history.

Rather than executing His opponents, He forgave them. Rather than dominating His subjects, He exalted them. He even called them not servants, but friends, and bestowing on them a share in His priesthood and kingship. Though He died, like other kings, it was for a different purpose. He died for our salvation. He died willingly to save His people, and His death was not a result of a battle lost or a plan gone awry, but of a glorious victory planned before the world began. He rose in glory, which can’t be said for any other king. And at His heavenly coronation, when He ascended to His Father, He was given what all the rest lusted for–a worldwide dominion that will not pass away.

But the world goes on oblivious, with individuals who are more focused on themselves than on others as they continue jockeying for position, exalting themselves at the expense of others.

While some are focused on themselves, the true King is biding His time. He will return and suddenly things will be seen as they truly are. His coming will sweep away ambition, vanity, and pretensions, and much of what now appears important will look very empty. No longer will oppression be allowed to stand; the innocent will finally be liberated from those who victimize them. This dominion will truly be universal. There will be nowhere left where He is not recognized for who He is, though in some quarters, that acknowledgment will be made with anxiety and gloom.

His coming means doom and judgment for those who have resisted Him. They will be allowed, of course, to cling to the evil that they have chosen, and hold it close to themselves for all eternity. But they may no longer afflict others with it. The feast of Jesus Christ the Universal King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and is observed on the last Sunday of the Roman Catholic Liturgical Year. When it was instituted, the world was in turmoil. The feast serves as a reminder to us that we know the end of the story and should not be fooled by false leaders or bullies who intimidate others. They’ll be gone soon and they will be overshadowed by Jesus’ awesome love and glory. And He’ll be here soon. How soon no one knows!

Blessings,

Deacon Steve Pareja

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