Chaplain’s Corner | The Feast of Christ the King (October 27, 2013)

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Oportet Illum Regnare! For He must reign!

John 18:37 Respondit Jesus: Tu dicis, quia Rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati: omnis qui est ex veritate, audit vocem meam. Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a King. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.

Dear Traditional Latin Mass Faithful and Friends,

In the reform of the Church calendar in 1970 the Feast of Christ the King was moved to the last Sunday of the Church year right before the first Sunday of Advent. Therefore, in the Ordinary Form of the Mass this feast is celebrated on November 24th this year. However, for those who continue to use the Roman Missal of Blessed John XXIII, or the extraordinary form of the liturgy, the feast is celebrated on the last Sunday of October. Actually, this feast has a rather recent history in the life of the Church.

During the 1920’s Pope Pius XI could already clearly see the wrong direction the world was going. The horror of World War I still was within living memory. Nevertheless, extreme nationalism continued to dominate. In Italy Benito Mussolini and his black shirts, the fascists, had marched on Rome in 1922 and proclaimed a new era, the rebirth of a new Roman empire based on the pre-Christian one. Nazism, led by Adolf Hitler, was beginning to appeal to the German speaking countries and would come to power in 1933. Communism and radical socialism were beginning to dominate. Whereas in the free world there was also a creeping secularism and false liberalism that would eventually undermine the principles of democracy. Pope Pius XI, as the Vicar of Christ and successor of St. Peter, boldly proclaimed the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in his encyclical Quas Primas of December 11, 1925, establishing the Feast of Christ the King as a rallying point for all those on the side of Christ and His Church.

A beautiful reflection on the Feast of Christ the King is found in volume five of the little book In Conversation with God by Father Francis Fernandez Carvajal. He writes, quoting from 1 Corinthians 15:25: Oportet autem illum regnare . . .For He must reign. Then follows this powerful quotation from the above encyclical: “He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to Him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls.”

Yes, Jesus Christ, Our King, must reign! Illum Oportet Regnare! As faithful believers we refuse to kneel before the world, the flesh, and the devil. We have only one King to whom we submit ourselves mind, body, and soul. We refuse to be deceived by the Kingdom of Darkness. We proclaim the Kingdom of Light in Jesus Christ. He remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is our last, best, and only hope. On this feast we resolve to serve Him all our days. Even if 99.99% should embrace the kingdom of Satan, we promise to stand up even stronger as authentic and faithful Catholics, witnessing even until death. We can’t abandon the Truth. We know that our salvation depends on our response to the Lord’s proclamation: “Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice (John 18:37).”

In Domino,

Fr. Mark G. Mazza, Pastor

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