23 November 2017
Feast of Christ the King

  

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FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING  

The meaning of this Feast is this year more challenging than ever.  As people come to terms with the collapse of the “Celtic Tiger”, they are moved to consider more carefully the place of Christ in their lives.  We proclaim him today to be our King; above all King of our hearts.  Today is an occasion to examine the extent to which we place in Christ.  In His time people found He was inspiring; He gave guidance, and above all He brought hope to their lives.  He can do the same for us today.  In that sense He is truly our King.

The Feast of Christ the King marks the final Sunday of the Church’s year. It is appropriate that, as we end our year, we should emphasise the preminence of Christ over all others. At different times in history the perception of kingship or royalty has differed. Pontius Pilate understood Christ to claiming kingship over on a par with Caesar. Christ quickly corrected this misunderstanding by telling him “My kingdom is not of this world”. In history when kings ruled every country the respect for monarchy was very deep. But as monarchy became corrupt and despotic the mood of respect changed to one of hatred and contempt. Hence there was little grief when the king of France was executed at the beginning of the French Revolution. Since that event kingship has been in decline and few states now accord any power to kings.

Today we call Christ our “eternal king”. In the context of low regard for the title of king we must clarify that Christ is king of our hearts and leads us at a spiritual level. The sharp recession we are now experiencing must lead us to reflect that there is a spiritual dimension to our lives and that we need Christ to guide us to a better life, even in this world. We proclaim Christ as our universal and eternal king, and it must mean a great deal for us. In his lifetime Christ inspired, guided and led all who listened to him with an open heart. It would be well for us to turn to him to do the same for us and lead us to a more joyful and happy life.

Msgr. Sean Heaney P.P.