Solemnity of Christ the King




The weekly Bulletin and the bulletin article are available.

You can listen to the Gospel and Sunday homily here.

The bulletin article follows:

Last week, I shared a bit of the catechism in this space, talking about the richness of the sacrament we call Eucharist. Since the name “Eucharist” means ‘thanksgiving’, it was an opportunity to encourage all of us to make the Mass a part of our Thanksgiving Day celebration.  Today, I would offer a bit of catechesis again, but this time from Pope Francis’ weekly Angelus address last week, in light of our celebration of Christ the King.  He said:

“What is the Mass essentially? The Mass is the memorial of Christ’s Paschal Mystery. It makes us participants in His victory over sin and death and gives full meaning to our life.

“Therefore, to understand the value of the Mass we must then understand, first of all, the biblical meaning of the “memorial.” It is “not merely the recollection of past events, but in a certain sense renders them present and real. Thus, in fact, Israel understands its liberation from Egypt: every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers, so that they may conform their lives to them. “ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1363). With His Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, Jesus Christ has brought Passover to fulfillment. And the Mass is the memorial of His Passover, of His “exodus,” which He carried out for us, to make us come out of slavery and to introduce us in the Promised Land of eternal life. It’s not merely a recollection no, it’s more: it makes present what happened 20 centuries ago. The Eucharist always leads us to the summit of God’s action of salvation: the Lord Jesus, making Himself broken bread for us, sheds on us all His mercy and His love, as He did on the cross, so as to renew our heart, our existence and our way of relating to Him and to brothers. Vatican Council II states: “Every time that the sacrifice of the cross — with which Christ, our Paschal Lamb, was immolated –, is celebrated on the altar, the work of our Redemption is effected” (Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 3).”

Now when I think of Christ as King, words like power, victory and majesty come to mind.  That’s why I need to remember that this King, victorious even over sin and death, is the same King who gives himself to us under forms of bread and wine. Pope Francis’ explanation of the concept of ‘memorial’ makes clear that when we celebrate Eucharist, the Christ who is present with us is the crucified Christ.  This is true because Eucharist is a memorial of Calvary itself, an un-bloody sacrifice. When the consecrated bread, which we know to be the Body of Christ, is broken to be shared, it is this crucified Christ who broken to be shared, for the salvation of the world.

I think this helps us keep from using the Kingship of Christ to escape the Cross.  Taken, Blessed, Broken and Shared, Christ our King is the Crucified King.


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