What is the origin of the Feast of Christ the King?
The feast of Christ the King was established on December 11, 1925 by Pope Pius XI to affirm the kingship of Christ to whom nations must obey.
At this time, the festival recalls the Cristeros, in Mexico, persecuted by the Freemason government. Fighting for their religious freedom between 1926 and 1929, they shouted “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” » (Long live Christ the King!).
What is the date of Christ the King?
This year, the feast of Christ the King is celebrated on Sunday November 26, 2023. It precedes the first Sunday of Advent.
It was celebrated on the last Sunday in October (This is still the case for the faithful attached to the Tridentine form of the Roman rite.) It took on a different meaning with the reform of the liturgical calendar of 1969, decided by the Second Vatican Council. . Moved to the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the feast of Christ the King is now called the feast of “Christ the King of the universe”.
Why did the date of the feast of Christ the King of the universe change?
While in 1925, the feast of Christ the King aimed to support a fight against developments in the modern world and to strengthen the faith of the faithful in the face of the ideologies of the time, the feast of Christ the King of universe emphasized the idea that in Christ all creation is recapitulated.
The Church today celebrates the sovereignty of Christ over all creation. It is for this reason that this celebration takes place on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, showing that Christ is “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).
Why is Christ king?
Jesus always refused the title of king in the political sense. Faced with Pilate, however, he asserts:
“My royalty is not of this world;
if my royalty were of this world,
I would have guards
who would have fought so that I would not be handed over to the Jews.
In fact, my royalty is not from here. »
The kingdom of which Christ speaks is primarily spiritual. He does not dominate a people and lands. He frees humanity from the slavery of sin.
This term also has a social dimension since it means that all men are under the governance of God, including those who rule the world.
What is the meaning of the feast of Christ the King of the universe?
This feast has become “the hinge of the liturgical year because it designates a decisive aspect of Christian time: if for us, who live in time, the liturgical cycle ends each year, it will only find its true completion in the “last times” of which Christ’s Passover is the eschatological fulfillment*. Since the Resurrection, we have been in “the last times” and awaiting the last coming. (Brother Patrick Prétot, Higher Institute of Liturgy, Catholic Institute of Paris).
* Which concerns the study of the ultimate ends of man and the world.
What is the Gospel read for the feast of Christ the King?
Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew:
During that time,
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
then he will sit on his throne of glory.
All nations will be gathered before him;
he will separate men from one another,
as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats:
he will place the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on his right:
‘Come, you blessed of my Father,
inherit the Kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink;
I was a stranger, and you welcomed me;
I was naked, and you clothed me;
I was ill, and you visited me;
I was in prison, and you came to me!’
Then the righteous will answer him:
‘Lord, when did we see you…?
So you were hungry, and we fed you?
you were thirsty, and we gave you something to drink?
you were a stranger, and we welcomed you?
you were naked, and we clothed you?
you were sick or in prison…
When did we come to you?’
And the King will answer them:
‘Amen, I say to you:
every time you did it
to one of the least of my brothers,
you did it to me.’
Then he will say to those on his left:
‘Go away from me, you cursed ones,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink;
I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me;
I was naked, and you did not clothe me;
I was sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.’
Then they too will answer:
‘Lord, when did we see you
to be hungry, to be thirsty, to be naked, a stranger, sick or in prison,
without putting us at your service?’
He will answer them:
‘Amen, I say to you:
every time you didn’t
to one of these smallest,
You didn’t do it to me.’
And they will depart, these to eternal punishment,
and the righteous have everlasting life.”
And find the other readings of the day on the AELF website.